Evaluating Fox Hunting
Length: 2619 words (7.5 double-spaced pages)
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I am going to do my piece of original writing coursework on something
I feel strongly about. It is an issue that many other people also feel
strongly and which provokes a lot of feelings and emotions from both
sides. The thing I am going to be doing my piece of original writing
coursework on is Fox Hunting.
[IMAGE] Fox Hunting is when mounted huntsmen and women chase a fox
with dogs or hounds (as they are called by hunters) which are trained
to catch the fox and then rip it to pieces. It was not until the
decline of falconry (training and using falcons for hunting: the
breeding, training, and use of falcons or other hawks to hunt small
prey and return from flight at a falconer's direction), in the 17th
century that the first fox hunts, consisting of organized groups of
hunters and their servants and hounds, were established in England.
Today the officials of the hunt and the members generally wear coats
of bright scarlet, called pinks.
However today many people feel that fox hunting is a cruel and
unnecessary practise. The problem is that in the 17th century people
who had farms could be wiped out by a pack of foxes got hold of their
chickens, but in today's technological world there are much more
humane ways to stop this happening like putting up an electric fence
or enclosing the chickens. Also many people believe that even if foxes
do need to be killed there are more humane ways for this to happen
than for them to be savaged by a group of hounds.
On the other side there are the people that follow hunting that says
it is necessary; they also believe it is a sport, and that it is not
cruel. They also say that if the hunts were to be shut down that their
livelihoods would be ruined.
There are two groups of people in the equation. The name given for
these groups is the pro-hunting lobby and the anti-hunting lobby.
pro hunting lobby, who are mainly people from rural areas, say that
hunting is good and it is not cruel to hunt and kill the foxes; they
claim that they are the people of the countryside and are just trying
to look after it. On the other hand the anti-hunting lobby say that
fox hunting is wrong and that is should be banned under law; they
represent the majority of the United Kingdoms population. The most
extreme of the anti-hunting lobby in recent years have started
disrupting hunts, this group or people have been given the name 'hunt
saboteurs'. Hunt saboteurs tactics have been laying trails so the doss
cannot pick up the scent of the foxes and blowing horns in the same
way a hunt master would to confuse the dogs.
Sport or Murder?
[IMAGE][IMAGE]However the hunters have not just lay over and had their
hunts disrupted. As you can see from both photos on left and just
below (one with a man wearing a balaclava the photo on the left. The
behaviour of these hunters can be described as both criminal and
thuggish it is also well documented that hunters have attacked and
assaulted and even hospitalised hunt saboteurs.
I believe that fox hunting is unnecessary and cruel. I do not believe
that in today's world that can do all the things like in hospitals and
in electronics that you can justify savaging any animal. I think that
it is an outdated and unpopular practice. I also think that fox
hunting is an activity for the middle and higher classes; I also think
that it is generally a conservative thing.
I think that an out and out ban is necessary. This is because that
anything else would in some way shape or form still be fox hunting and
involve cruelty to these animals, which I cannot put my name to. I
also believe anything else would allow cruelty to animals so I do not
see the point in a ban at all in that case.
[IMAGE] The last time there was a vote in the houses of parliament,
the House of Commons voted that fox hunting should be banned but when
it went through to the House of Lords they blocked it. This angers me
because the Ministers of Parliament or MP's are voted in by the
people, so they are the representatives of the people, but the house
of lords is made up of people who are not voted in by the people but
were merely born to the right family (although there is only 90 who
were voted in by the other Lords). So I feel that the people spoke and
some middle/upper class people had the brass faced cheek to turn
around and silence them. I personally believe that the House of Lords
should not have the right to block a bill from the House of Commons.
Michael HowardThe Conservatives say that if they are voted into office
they will reverse the
Law and legalise fox hunting again. I think that they are out of touch
with what the public wants. The conservatives are historically a party
for the rich and middle/upper classes and this is just a stupid
attempt to do some point scoring. If you consider what Michael Howard
would do if the working classes said they were going to blatantly
flout the law, he would be up in arms. I don't want to get too much
off track but if you consider Margaret Thatcher and her poll tax and
its unpopularity between virtually everyone she did not let people
refuse to pay it.
I think that the majority of the British public want a ban on fox
hunting. This is because they think that that it is cruel and immoral.
One proposal but forward by the anti-hunting lobby and the government
as an alternative to fox hunting is drag hunting. This is where a pack
of hounds follows a line of artificial scent known as a drag line laid
out in sections across the countryside by a person known as the Drags
man. The drags man is mounted on horseback and drags anything from a
rabbit skin to a woollen casing with a string through the middle. The
scent is anything from alcohol to paraffin, aniseed and animal faeces.
Ironically this is what hunt saboteurs are already doing and getting
Hunters do not like this because they say that one of the reasons they
go hunting is to keep the fox population down. They say they do not
have enough time to waste running around the countryside chasing
I believe this is a good alternative to fox hunting if it is the chase
that the hunters enjoy. They say that they enjoy the fresh air and the
country and that it is a good fun day out; they also say that it
excitement of the chase and the actual kill is a bit of an anti
climax. But drag hunting gives them all the things they say they enjoy
about fox hunting and takes away the part they say that they don't
enjoy, the kill. So I must come to the conclusion that the hunters
really enjoy the kill and not all the other things as they say they
I will show a piece of writing by Henry S. Salt in which he weighs if
drag hunting is as good as fox hunting. I got this from a website on
the internet the website is,
DRAG HUNTING VERSES STAG HUNTING
By HENRY S. SALT
THE fact is too often overlooked that a ready substitute for the
savage chase of animals may be found in the drag hunt, a form of sport
which preserves all that is valuable in the way exercise, while
getting rid of one thing only-the cruelty to the tortured stag or fox
or hare. As has been pointed out in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph, a
paper favourable to sport.
"There is little doubt that in time the drag-hunt will become the
popular hunting pastime. For years it has been supported by the
officers of the Guards, and, besides having the merit of disarming
criticism on the part of the Humanitarian League, it can be enjoyed by
thousands of sightseers, as it defines the tract of country over which
the drag leads the hounds."
The attempts of some sporting writers to belittle the value of the
drag have been very infelicitous. If they personally prefer a
blood-sport to a bloodless pastime, let them say so-it is a matter on
which we will take their word-but when they assert that a drag-hunt is
not suitable for pedestrians, or for schoolboys, they only convict
themselves of knowing as little about the practical as about the moral
side of the controversy. The following statement was made by the late
Lady Florence Dixie, who spoke with unquestionable authority:
"Drags can be fast run or slow run, according to the way they are
laid. My husband owned a pack of harriers and a pack of beagles, and I
was able to get him often to hunt them on drags, and have often ridden
with the harriers and run with the beagles. When a very fast,
non-hunting run was wanted with the harriers, the drag was laid
straight and continuously, and hounds ran fast, and riding was like a
steeplechase, without a pause, except when any of us became a cropper!
When a hunting run was required, we laid a catchy drag, twisting here
and there, lifting the scent, and copying as near as possible the wily
ways of Reynard. With the beagles we imitated the hare, who is a
ringing, not straight-running animal, lifting the scent, doubling
back, and so on, and, in fact, we brought thus two competitors into
the sport-i.e., the drag-layer verses the huntsman, and pitted their
wiles and their cunning against each other. I may be accepted as an
authority, as few have perhaps ridden in harder-fought hunting runs of
all kinds than I-fox, stag, harrier, guanaco, ostrich, and
suchlike-and I have had considerable experience with the beagles as
well, on foot."
In face of the testimony, and of the fact recorded by Brinsley
Richards, in his "Seven Years at Eton," that a drag was successfully
used at Eton half a century ago, it is absurd to pretend that it could
not be used there again; but if further proof be needed, it is,
fortunately, available in the following letter from Mr. A. G.
Grenfell, Headmaster of Mostyn House School, Parkgate, Cheshire. It
will be seen that the idea, very commonly held, that the drag-hunt is
suitable only for those following on horseback, and that it would too
severely tax the energies of boys running on foot, is absolutely
"On the subject of Beagle Drag-Hunting at Schools, I think you will be
pleased to know that we have owned and run a pack of beagles at this
school for the last ten years on the lines that you suggest, and with
the greatest success. The drag affords any amount of healthy and
interesting exercise without cruelty. Ours is just an ordinary
preparatory school, with ten masters and ninety boys. Our hounds are
twenty-three or twenty-four in number. The sport of following them is
very popular with all of us, and it would be hard to devise an easier
or better form of school variant to the ever-lasting football. Not
only does drag-hunting keep boys from tiring of the regulation game,
but it is to the wind and endurance these runs give us that we owe the
fact that we seldom, if ever, lose a match against the boys of our own
size and weight. The beauty of the drag-hunt is that you can pick your
course, you can choose your jumps, you can regulate your checks and
keep your field all together, and you can insure the maximum of sport
After all my looking at drag hunting I have came to one opinion the
hunting people go out there for the kill. If they say they don't like
the kill they are lying. All the things I have looked at point to the
fact that the hunters love the kill.
Pro Hunt lobby organisations and what they believe in
There are many pro hunt organisations I will outline some of the main
a bullet point format,
* Fox Hunting - (supportfoxhunting.co.uk)
All three of these organisations have one thing in common, they all
support fox hunting. They all believe that a ban on fox hunting would
be detrimental to the countryside if fox hunting is banned, they all
also believe that ripping a defenceless animal to pieces is fair play.
All three of these organisations are countryside bases.
These three organisations go about getting what they want by staging
mass protests, an example of this would be in Westminster square
during the vote in the house of commons over the bill to ban fox
hunting, also things have been known to get violent at these mass
protests and protesters rioting with police.
The type of people who are members or follow these organizations would
be generally a middle/upper class person living in the countryside.
This is because this is the type of person who goes to hunts. I
believe that this is justified because although a hunt spokesmen/women
might deny this and say we are not posh, if you look at the hunt
supporters who raided the houses of apartment before the vote there
was a polo playing friend of the royals and most of them were sons of
millionaires, from what I could find out about them not one of them
was working class. They would also be likely to be conservative
voters, I believe this because the conservative party are the only
major party who has promised to re legalise fox hunting if they are
put into office.
Anti Hunt lobby Organisations and what they believe in
There are many anti hunt organisations I will outline some of the main
a bullet point format,
Both of these organisations believe that the barbaric practice of
hunting with dogs should be banned and stopped. They are both
committed to stopping cruelty to animals. And feel strongly about
this, it s due to the hard work and dedication of these organisations
that the government was able to vote to ban fox hunting and are able
to at present push the bill threw. It is ridiculous to think that if
the general people did not know about this the government would have
acted, nor would they if these organisations did not collect all the
data and evidence that the government would have been bothered to act.
These types of organisations (excluding RSPCA) go about getting what
they want by disrupting hunts and broadcasting pictures and other
evidence over the internet, they also try and promote the suffering of
the animals in any way possible so that people know what the animals
go through while they are being ripped to pieces.
Anti hunt lobbyists are generally of any class and usually support
either labour or the liberal democrats, this is because these two
parties generally are more in touch with what the people want and
especially the liberal democrats generally go for what is right and
what they believe in instead of what they think will get them more
votes. Also people who are anti hunt lobbyists generally are more
liberal about most things like taxes and do not wine as much as there
pro hunt lobby counterparts.
It is obvious to me that one thing that both the pro-hunting lobby and
the anti-hunting lobby is that they want the best for the countryside
they just go about getting it in different ways. One side believes
that you can safeguard the countryside by destroying foxes in a savage
way, and the other side believes that by letting Mother Nature do as
she wished that this is the best way to look after the environment. So
I have found where they agree and found where they differ.
Impact of Ban
The ban will effect the hunters because it will take away there hobby
and for some who have built there careers on fox hunting there
livelihoods. I do not think the effects will be that bad for hunters
though because for the people who attend hunts for a hobby they will
still be able to go to drag hunts, and for the people who have built
there careers around hunting they will have two years under the
proposed bill to diversify there businesses in that time they can ever
start drag hunting and use that in the same way as fox hunting or
retrain and start a whole new career. So I do not think it would
affect the hunters as much as they would have you believe.
The ban will effect the countryside in a number of ways firstly
businesses which rely on fox hunting will have to close or diversify
into a new field so some people could theoretically loose their jobs.
Also there will be more foxes in the wild so there may be an increase
in attacks on farms with chicken and other small prey, this can be
remedied by installing fences and using other techniques to keep foxes
away. I think the ban on the countryside will not be as bad as hunters
would have you believe the only real effect that I can see is a small
amount of people being put out of work through hunt related businesses
closing, I do think however that it would be more there choosing if
any of these people are unable to get a job if the businesses have to
close down because, they have two years to retrain, and with the
thriving tourism business in the countryside I cannon see any reason
that the people mentioned will not be able to find work.
On the whole I feel that the countryside would have to change slightly
if fox hunting is banned but this is not necessarily such a bad thing.
All through history things have swapped and changed in Great Britain,
and we do no t live in such a bad country with an awful history. I
think all through history people have apposed change even when trains
were introduced farmers did not like them running through there fields
because they believed that it would stop there cows milking, but it
was only because of those very trains that the industrial revolution
was able to take place and because of this instead of Britain being
just another small island we are a rich thriving force to be reckoned
with. This is just an example of how people do not like change and I
could list many more but any sensible person with any knowledge of
history or has even read the bible will now that the human race does
not like change.
I have thought of a number of ways to evaluate this piece of work and
I feel the best is to answer the question that is at the start of the
piece of writing.
Fox Hunting, Sport or Murder?
This is because although the dictionary says that for a murder to have
been committed it bust be from one human to another, in every other
way shape and form what they do to foxes is murder and to call it any
think else would be to say that they do not have the right to life
which I cannot agree to. I believe if you go out to hunt something
down that has done absolutely nothing to you and then watch and see it
get ripped to pieces and not do anything to stop it but enjoy it is
sick I cannot get my head around it at all and I feel that anyone who
can either justify or take pleasure from a defenceless animal getting
savaged and not standing a chance needs help.
It is as wrong as gladiator fighting in the time of the Romans and I
am sure that they would have claimed it was only a sport if someone
had tied to stop that as well.
Both morally and ethically fox hunting is wrong it is nothing but
torture and anybody who tortures something or someone who cannot
defend themselves I don't think is worth the dirt on my shoe. It also
seems dumb to me that we invaded a country for torturing and killing
people but we were allowing something just as bad to go on in our own
country. Just because you do not like something does not give you the
right to destroy it in the most horrific foulest way known to man, I
think that up to this day it is a sign of this country and the world
that we have not learned to live and let live it is not until we can
look back in hindsight that we can see out mistakes, but we can look
back and in a way the people who hunt foxes are as bad as the Nazis
who killed Jews they tortured and degraded them knowing there was
nothing they could do about it in the same way they torture foxes. It
is not a sport it is sick and pathetic and needs stopping as soon as