Fox Hunting

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I have chosen this topic on fox hunting because there is a lot of
discussion about it and there are also many different opinions and
views from both sides. The arguments are about whether fox hunting
should be banned or not. The whole debate on foxhunting is for many
people, the issue of cruelty. Hunt supporters say hunting is kinder
than the alternatives. Opponents say hunting is cruel and unnecessary.

Is being chased for several hours to be killed by a pack of hounds
cruel?

No, say hunt supporters, they say it's natural for the hounds to give
a quick nip to the back of a fox's neck, which then dies outright.

Yes it is cruel, and it's unnecessary, say animal welfare groups,
campaigners and activists.

There are just too many foxes in Britain, by fox hunting we can keep
numbers simple so that there aren't too many foxes and there aren't to
little foxes. Fox hunting makes a very important contribution to
control the number of foxes, and involves less cruelty than most other
methods of controlling them. It should therefore be allowed to
continue.

Also we only hunt foxes that are too old, sick or arrogant to run
away.

At the start of each breeding season, there are roughly over a million
foxes in Britain. That number doubles as the cubs are born, and over
the following year it falls back to nearly the original 250,000.

Some foxes die from natural causes. About 100,000 are reckoned to die
by shooting. They say that fox hunting every year kills 16,000 foxes.

If they were disbanded, they claim, the number of foxes killed in
other ways will rise, and many of them would be killed not by
gamekeepers or other professionals, but by amateurs.

The other alternatives of fox hunting, gassing, snarling or poisoning
would all inflict much more pain and suffering on the foxes. Already
10 times as many foxes are shot each year than are hunted to death,
they say. That figure would only increase if the hunting were banned.

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The hunting lobby claims, would mean many more foxes dying slowly in
snares, or as a result of being hit by other wild shots.

They argue that other species would also fall prey to snares and the
rifles.

And they believe that gassing and poisoning, both illegal, would be
used to keep fox numbers down.

Foxes are pests, they come in to our farms and kill our lambs and
chickens, and it's all right if they killed one to eat but they try to
kill all the lambs and chicken.

Huntsman David Butt said: we are doing the farmer a service, we are
getting rid of the fox that would kill his lambs or chickens, and we
get a good day's riding out of it".

Foxes should be allowed to eat they have to live by eating. They have
no natural predators except man. You could say that they're just like
human beings. In order to live we have to eat so foxes should have a
right to eat as well.

Killing foxes like a game, is cruel. Nobody in his or her right mind
would do such a thing. The foxes have to be chased for miles without a
rest by horses and hounds just to be killed, what's the fun in.

Fox hunting, not only kills one fox, but also disturbs others. It
causes the other foxes stress and fear and unnecessary suffering.

Fox hunting is cruel and unnecessary. If there is a problem with a
fox, then a skilled vet is the only answer. But killing foxes for
pleasure should not be acceptable in this world.

Huntsman Jeremy Barn Field said: " It's a sport, and it's one that is
very much enjoyed, but it's enjoyed for the chase rather than the
kill".

Many sportsmen and women believe that fox hunting is a fun sport, but
I'm pretty sure that they wouldn't be liked to be chased for hours
without a rest and then get shot.

The hunt is a highly organised activity where each of the individual
hunts owns property, stables and kennel, has employees, and an army of
voluntary helpers and subscribers, administered by trust.

Typically, the hunt committee owns the hounds, horses, and undergrowth
in an open field and other assets of the hunt, and is responsible for
finances.

Members of the committee are elected by subscribers, and will organise
fundraising events, including the annual hunt ball. They also appoint
the master of the hunt.

The master has the ultimate responsibility for settling any
outstanding debts of the hunt. The master tends to be responsible for
an aspect of the hunt and an area of the country.

The field master of the day, often the joint master for the area where
the day's hunt is taking place is responsible for the conduct of the
day's hunting.

He or she decides where to look for the foxes, or to draw, and what to
do if the fox goes to ground.

The huntsman, a professional, has responsibility for handling the
hounds and for carrying out the day's hunting as required by the field
master.

Those opposed to the hunt, including Countryside Protection, an
organisation of the country dwellers against the hunt, argue that
activity of riders, followers and hounds results in a lot of damage.

The terrier man, sometimes with up to two assistants, is often called
upon to locate and destroy a fox which has gone to ground. This
involves sending a terrier into the fox's earth, or whatever holes it
has bolted into, then sometimes digging it out. It is then shot.

Hunt staff, or servants, generally the huntsman and kennel men may be
amateurs who are paid very little, but many receive a salary and live
in tied accommodation. Quite often a profession huntsman, known as a
kennel huntsman, supports an amateur huntsman.

Masters are not paid, and many grooms are paid but only work
part-time. The terrier men and country maintenance team are often
part-time.

With not much pay why does anyone want to hunt, only disgusting people
would hunt foxes. It just goes to show these monstrous people actually
enjoy hunting they have pleasure hunting, that really hard to believe.

Autumn hunting can start early in the morning, with meets taking place
several times a week at about 6 am.

Typically, the meet will take place in a pub car park, or a communal
area, although they can happen on a private land, which is known as a
lawn meet.

The hounds will then be taken to the first convert so that, encouraged
by huntsman's horns and cries, they can find a sent either flush out
the fox, or pick it up the trail of one that has recently left the
area.

An employee or member of the hunt may have blocked Earths in the
covert the night before.

The hounds out of the covert, the huntsman will signal to the master
using the horn and the field follows them.

If the scent I lost, the huntsman will cast in an arc to try to
relocate it. Sometimes the scent of two foxes cross and the huntsman
must decide which is the hunted fox.

Hounds are bred for their stamina, as well as speed, so the fox
eventually tires and will try to go to earth.

Did you know that a hound weighs between 70-80 lbs, roughly four or
five times the fox's mass, and has powerful jaws, a single bite is all
that's required to kill the fox.

Huntsmen say that once the fox has been caught above ground, the top
dog of the pack will administer a sharp nip to the back of it's neck,
killing it outright, how disgusting is that.

Animal welfare groups insist that the fox is ripped limb from limb and
disembowelled.

My opinion is that the hunting debate ought to really be about is not
protecting ways of life, or scoring point in the class war, but
promoting animal welfare.

In sense, these are the sorts of arguments you would expect the hunts
to use, because they make it harder to argue against hunting.

Many people who live in the country and earn their livelihoods there
will, one way or another, kill foxes.

The debate sometimes assumes that there is a choice, hunt the foxes,
or leave them to grow to ripe old age.

That is not the choice in the real world, where many foxes will
continue to be killed every year.

The question is to find a way that involves the least cruelty to them.

You may say the hunts are inefficient, that they waste a lot of time
and effort with little to show for it.

But the animal welfare matters, what will be best for foxes?

Try and ask your selves that question.


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