i'm on the fence with this one, i don't like any sort of cruelty to any animal (ok maybe a spider or horsefly!), i've watched the foxes play and then have the cubs and watch them play, it's a fantastic sight to see so for them reasons i'm against it.
i was raised on a farm and i've seen what the foxes do to the animals and it's heart breaking to see the mess the lambs are in after a fox has had it, they are getting less worried about people and are now rummaging through bins in the towns, so for them reasons i'm for hunting.
i've worked in hunt stables and helped get the horses ready but i refused to feed the hounds simply because they were fed horses and cows. and i come from a family of either hunters or hunt supporters.
I read about the Hurworth Hunt up North, who fought hard when DEFRA was preparing for the hunting enquiry with a view to banning hunting with dogs. The Huntsman had been out with his hounds when they found a fox and immediately killed it. The fox had been horribly injured in life, and was dying a long, slow & painful death as it had broken legs and infection had set in. Had it not been for the hounds, the fox wouldn't have been found.
A lot of people are now using snares to catch foxes. They probably check the traps every couple of days. A fox will chew it's own leg off to get out of a snare, then die of hunger or infection unless it waits for a trapper to find it and bash it over the head. Some people prefer shooting, but a fox is always on the go and it's not certain that it will be hit in a place where it will be quickly killed.
I love all wild animals, and no one can say a fox isn't a stunning & pretty animal. They are particularly cheeky and love killing anything they can catch which, unfortunately, means they will always be hunted one way or another.
Chatting to my farrier just recently, I commented that it seems to have been a good season so far as he's heavily involved in the hunt. Turns out I'm quite wrong. Just because it was dry & they got out every week didn't mean it was good. The very still weather means that the hounds can't follow the scent as it lifts instantly.
He also explained that he knew some fellas who hunt at night with guns & lure the foxes by playing a recording of a snared rabbit. They had shot 40 foxes in one night :w00t:
So the hunt have seen no trace of a fox!
(nothing to do with what's right or wrong!)
Morgan Charlie Claret Jess Chester
I am a "townie", but have been involved in country pursuits for as long as I can remember, from going ferreting and  shooting with my dad, and in the abscence of a gundog, being the retriever, to going hunting, and having livestock, and horses of my own.
My dad bred birds of prey, and bred mice and rats to feed them. We also had chickens for eggs and the   table and my sister and I had pet rabbits, who were bred, and the babies fattened for eating.  I grew up with an understanding of country matters, and had a deep love for all animals. When I left school, and became a vet. nurse, my parents house soon became a "rescue centre", and was filled with all sorts of creatures from fish to budgies, hamsters, rabbits and finally a fox cub we called Bella.
Bella was found on a building site, abandoned by her mother as she had cataracts. She was only about 4 weeks old, and we reared her following her successful treatment and she lived as one of our dogs.
I used to take her for walks, and all was well until even though they knew Bella was shut away at night, neighbours started to blame her for disappearing pets. Fearing for her safety, Bells was re-homed right out in the country, and was  successfully re-habilitated into the wild, on land belonging to a non-hunting gentleman. The following year she re-appeared with a poorly cub Babe, who she left with the gentleman, and then left and never returned.
Over the following years, I had horses and attended a hunt on foot, and was totally shocked at how after being chased for ages, a fox went to ground, where it was promptly dug up, with terriers snapping around the hole, then the huntsman grabbed the terrified fox, and threw it into the group of hounds where it was torn apart.
I found this totally abhorrent as I felt that the fox deserved to live, having managed to avoid being caught, and I cannot imagine the fear that it went through, during the chase when only adrenalin, and fear for its life kept it ahead of the hounds, to the the realisation that having found a "safe hole" it had only trapped itself, and how must it have felt as it was dragged out and thrown. I have never attended a hunt again.
I have suffered many chicken and duck losses to the fox, and now only allow my hens to free range when I will be around the whole time. I have bred sheep for several years, and despite a large number of local foxes, I've never lost a lamb to them. I have also reared free range pigs, and again never lost a piglet this way. I have actually had more problems with crows and magpies taking chicks/ducklings/goslings.
I have used legal snares. They were checked several times a day, and I caught a couple of foxes, which were swiftly dispatched, but I did not like the thought of the animals struggling, so stopped using them. I would not consider using poison, having seen one of my dogs poisoned, luckily she recovered as I spotted her symptoms and got her to our vet in time. We never found out where she got it from. And I  would never have them gassed.
I have seen foxes hunted by lamping, and I believe that this is by far the best way to control them. The gun used is a powerful rifle. You do not have to be close to the fox, so it is not aware that you are there. The light is shone at the fox when it is spotted, the fox looks up, and before it knows anything it is dead.  I have seen this many times, and have never seen a fox injured, they are always killed. I think this is due to a rifle being used as opposed to a shotgun, which tends to spread the shot, peppering, and risking injury, rather than a single high powered bullet.
For people who want the excitement of cross country riding in a group, with hounds, then drag hunting can achieve this, and is still a good way to teach a young horse to be a bold jumper, and it creates a use for the hounds. There are also many sponsored rides, or pleasure rides of varying distances, many with optional jumps. For the people who say they will have to have their horses shot if they cannot hunt why is this so? Surely you have your horses because you love them, and riding, so why not discover other horsey pursuits? And whilst I do feel sorry for any one who loses their job because of the ban,  how many farm hands lost their jobs, and therefore their homes, due to mechanisation, and the creation of huge arable farms. And how many miners lost their jobs, and homes when the mines closed? Where was the Countryside Alliance then, as many mining communities were also rural.
I am sorry if this is too long, or appears to preach, that is not my intention. It is MY considered opinion, based on my experiences, and I do not expect everyone to agree with me.
You may have guessed, but this is an emotional subject for me. I think this is a very difficult subject to broach, and there is no easy way to reach a resolution that will make all parties happy.
I have hunted since i could ride and i can say iv deffo had my bad days but i hope that when i have childen hunting will still be on the go to take them.:)
Malteaser Mon wrote:Deffo for!!:w00t: Whether you agree or not it should be up to you if you go hunting not the goverment!! This is issue I feel strongly about, soon you won't be able to do anything in this country without politics being involved!! Most people who got it banned don't live in the countryside and don't know the half of it, they see 'posh' people on horses galloping across the country, killing innocent cute foxes!
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