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rileyt
Jan. 18, 2001, 05:54 AM
Can you believe it? The British House of Commons passed the anti-hunting bill yesterday. Although the bill will not go into effect until sometime next year (or perhaps even later), it outlaws foxhunting (and any hunting of fox, rabbit, deer and mink with hounds). I'd heard that the hunters were under attack, but in all honesty, I didn't think that there was a realistic chance of the bill passing! I feel so naive. What a disaster. I can't believe they did it. Don't they realize what an impact this will have on the entire horse industry in G.B.?

rileyt
Jan. 18, 2001, 05:54 AM
Can you believe it? The British House of Commons passed the anti-hunting bill yesterday. Although the bill will not go into effect until sometime next year (or perhaps even later), it outlaws foxhunting (and any hunting of fox, rabbit, deer and mink with hounds). I'd heard that the hunters were under attack, but in all honesty, I didn't think that there was a realistic chance of the bill passing! I feel so naive. What a disaster. I can't believe they did it. Don't they realize what an impact this will have on the entire horse industry in G.B.?

msj
Jan. 18, 2001, 06:27 AM
You can thank all the animal rights activists for that. They are a very powerful force in the UK. They destroy research laboratories, etc.

msj

Justbay
Jan. 18, 2001, 06:35 AM
Truly unbelieveable! Now what?

M. O'Connor
Jan. 18, 2001, 06:41 AM
I couldn't find anything on the news wires or the British Parliament site?? Then again, I can never find anything on purpose!

Weatherford
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:08 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/18/world/18BRIT.html

January 18, 2001
Fox Hunting Ban Is Voted by Legislators in Britain
By WARREN HOGE


LONDON, Jan. 17 � In a decision hailed by backers as a victory for basic decency and assailed by opponents as a triumph of intolerance, Parliament voted overwhelmingly tonight to outlaw the traditional British sport of fox hunting.

The bill, a ban on hunting with hounds in England and Wales, passed by 387 votes to 174. The vote came after a five-hour exchange of accusations and the rejection of two more moderate measures that would have allowed the practice to continue either with self-regulation or under the control of a new independent authority.

Though fox hunting can seem arcane and quaint to people outside Britain, it has long been an emotive matter here, involving notions of personal liberty, the rights of minorities and the sanctity of the countryside, a place of mythical dimensions to many Britons.

Opponents of the ban staged demonstrations and fox hunts in rural areas across the country today to protest the action, and a large group of men and women, many in their signature caps and shooting jackets, maintained a vigil in Parliament Square in freezing temperatures.

They argue that fox hunting is necessary to control a pest that kills livestock and that the ban will end thousands of jobs in already depressed rural areas. They also insist that the prohibition is unenforceable and that turning fox hunters into criminals is persecution of a minority and violates civil liberties.

Field sports organizations also say they fear the ban will lead to similar outlawing of other outdoor activities. "Followers of shooting and fishing should realize this illogical hunting bill is just another nail in the coffin for their country sports," said Sir Edward Greenwell, president of the Country Land and Business Association.

With a national election expected to be called by Prime Minister Tony Blair for May and polling showing the public favoring an end to fox hunting, Conservatives charged that Labor was motivated not by principle but by politics and class hatred.

To Labor jeers, John Townend, a Conservative, said, "If the majority of people that hunted weren't, as many Labor M.P.'s consider, toffs � even though that is not true � and they were minorities such as colored people or homosexuals, this bill would never have been put before this house."

Proponents countered that the ban was an overdue end to cruelty to animals and that it simply extended to them the protections already in law for farm and domestic animals. They compared hunting with hounds to the already outlawed practices of bear baiting and cock fighting.

"It churns my insides to think that people get enjoyment out of seeing an animal torn limb from limb," said Bill Etherington, a Labor member.

Hunting enthusiasts were defiant in defeat. Robin Page, an author and broadcaster, said: "I will break Blair's law. I will pay no fines and I will go to prison. I will be Blair's political prisoner."

Even with tonight's vote, the prohibition still may be some time away from taking effect because the Lords, who are against the measure, can delay it with stalling tactics when it reaches them for review in the spring. Mr. Blair could then invoke the Parliament Act, which is reserved for moments when the two houses are deadlocked. But it is more likely he will allow the final law- making to wait until after the election, reaping the political rewards of tonight's vote without confronting the difficulties of putting the ban into place and incurring the wrath of rural Britain.

rileyt
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:09 AM
There was a story on the front page of the Washington Post this morning. Alas, I think it is "confirmed."

Magnolia
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:16 AM
That completely %$#@#$es me off. I am livid at the animal rights community. There are no bigger lovers of animals than the good horse people I have met. Horse people are quick to care for strays and truly love animals. The sport is not sadistic. What is sadistic to me are factory farms. I'm sure the fox is killed quickly and in a natural way.
If the animal rights community in America even so much as considers this as an inroad to banning hunts in America, I will gladly protest them.
I have never ridden in a hunt, although there are several foxhunters where I ride. They are the nicest people I have ever met with regard to being compassionate towards animals.
The British Parliament was wrong to do what they did. How about banning SOCCER? hell, they kill fans at those matches over there, don't they?
Is there anything we can do to help our British friends?

Velvet
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:20 AM
Sure there is...invite them to come over here and hunt. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

I agree with the comment about soccer. I just think the animal activists have gone too far!!!

Bumpkin
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:32 AM
I use to be very active with hunting with my terriers in England.
This is dreadful as many Terriermen had vowed to put their Working Terriers to sleep if the ban was passed.
Several have come to the USA and Canada already knowing the impact of banning was on the horizon and many purchased properties over here just in case.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Erin
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:37 AM
"Wow" is the only thing I can think of to say. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Here's the Washington Post article:

http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A8015-2001Jan17.html

Inverness
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:42 AM
What is the potential impact on drag hunting? Will drag hunting be put forward as a potential substitute or does the ban extend - however illogically - to drag hunting as well?

Everythingbutwings
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:49 AM
Or hunting in Scotland or Wales?

Anyplace Farm
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:51 AM
I hope this doesn't happen to us. It's interesting that a sport that originated in England, brought over here by colonists, is now outlawed there. Makes you happy to be American.

Velvet
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:53 AM
After reading the article I'm even more amazed. I mean, what are these protestors thinking? They want to protect an animal, and yet they go out and stalk/kill/maim another one (humans) in the name of protecting them. What would those animals do to us if they were bigger, stronger and smarter??? It's not necessarily dog-eat-dog, but still, do these people not see that we are stewards for the animals of the world and not just co-inhabitants? If they had a problem with it, they should have passed a rule banning the dispatching of the fox, rabbit, deer, but not the hunt itself. Everything in moderation. Maybe it was the violence that pushed them over the edge and into violence.

The world is a small place and well need to find tolerance for each other and to manage our resources correctly and not abuse them. There has to be some middle ground.

Maybe the difference between us and Brits is that we don't make it such an elitist sport and many places have to use "drag" hunts, or they hunt animals like coyotes that annoy most people in the area.

FairWeather
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:54 AM
What happens now? OMG...this is unreal. The Countryside Alliance had so many supporters, THE march last year produced Hundreds of thousands of people.
What happens to all the horses? The hounds? The people that make a living out of hunting and bringing Tourists hunting?
This is just unreal.

Tony Blair, you've killed so much more than foxhunting. You A-hole.

Pardon me.
A pissed off FW /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Always,
FairWeather
http://www.fairweather.bizland.com/entrance.html

Everythingbutwings
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:56 AM
And counting "coup" like the Native Americans instead of running them through. That sounds pretty sporting!

Erin
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:58 AM
The remarks about "toffs" are interesting... especially considering the discussions about wealth and the horse industry going on here lately.

Who here doesn't know more than a handful of people who think riding/showing is just a bunch of rich people wearing funny clothes and using expensive horses for entertainment?

Ooh, this is a scary precedent.

FairWeather
Jan. 18, 2001, 08:01 AM
Whats with THIS paragraph?
<<The gesture should not be politically costly, because opinion polls show that 60 to 70 percent of British voters favor a fox hunting ban, mainly on the grounds that it is cruel. Supporters of fox hunting, mostly well-to-do rural residents, tend to support the opposition Conservative Party and would not be Blair voters.>>

EXCUSE ME? What does THAT mean? Well-to-do? Not all of those FARMERS are Well-to-do!
grrrr... /infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Always,
FairWeather
http://www.fairweather.bizland.com/entrance.html

Magnolia
Jan. 18, 2001, 08:12 AM
You can rest assured that this crap is coming to America very soon.
Animal rights idiots don't see the forest for the trees- sure, they maybe saved a few fox(those foxes will probably be trapped for fur or poisoned anyhow.) Probably a bunch of dogs will be homeless or put to sleep, a bunch of horses sold, more land left exposed to developers.
ANYBODY WHO EATS MEAT HAD BEST NOT CALL THIS SPORT CRUEL. Is 70% of England vegetarians? Doubt it.
Sorry to rant. I know that this whole BB is likely teed off. Is there a more constructive place to complain? I move we bombard the British PETA offices with pictures of our sweet abused horses and downtrodden dogs, and the cats we so hatefully give shelteer to in our barns.
Let's do it - everyone that loves a horse, dog, cat, or goat, scan a picture and email it to PETA. I'll go seek the proper addresses.
info@petaeurope.org.uk

Inverness
Jan. 18, 2001, 08:26 AM
I received this email this morning and thought I'd pass it on to the BB:

Hi Susan
This is not law yet. As I understand it has to go to the House of Lords, who will stall it. The feeling is it will be amended to impose strict controls on hunting.

The measure will not get through parliament this term. There will be a general election in May. The Prime Minister did not vote last night - in fact, he was here in Northern Ireland to push the peace process a little further.

It is unlikely the Labour Party will put the ban in their manifesto. Consequently, if Labour wins
the election (and they most likely will) they have to go through all this again. Then there is the added thing, how would that hold up in European Parliament?

This could go on for years. However I do think in the end hunting will be banned or severely restricted and this will apply to Ireland
sometime in the future - but it could take years.

A ban would have to be approved here by the Assembly to become law in Northern Ireland, and by The Irish Parliament in the south. So it not staight forward.

I hope all is well with you,
Frank

fernie fox
Jan. 18, 2001, 08:30 AM
HUNTING.SHOWING.In fact any thing you do with your beloved animal friends,dogs,cats,4H livestock etc.
I tried posting on the hunting BB,but the response was very minimal.
Maybe you guys will wake up and realize the problems in UK.do and will
affect you.Enormous amount of financing for Peta. Humane society and Animal Liberation Front is US funded.Just go and look up their web sites especially ALF.then come back and tell me it is'nt already starting here.They are terrorists and you really do need to wake up.
Words cannot explain how I feel,to see and hear what is happening to the beautiful wonderful country way of life I grew up in.I am so sad that my children will not have the chance to live that wonderful childhood.
Whatever happened to FREEDOM.in my England.
Come on you guys don't let it happen here.
Thank God I live here in USA.But I fear you are not preparing your selves.

fernie fox

Weatherford
Jan. 18, 2001, 08:31 AM
This does NOT impact Scotland or No Ireland - both of whom have their own parliment. It does impact England & Wales.

The House of Lords are expected to veto this - but...

Opinion polls on the WWWeb have actually been running FOR foxhunting (either self-regulated or with some regulations) rather than against it - contrary to what is being said.

There is a MAJOR march on Parliament planned by Countryside Alliance for March 18th - EVERYONE is invited to join. The hope is to have a GREATER turnout than the last significant march of a few years ago. If you can get to London GO! Airfares are actually pretty cheap right now.

For more information email foxhunters online Foxhunters@topica.com

If you know any really well respected and prominant celebs who would like to rally with us, please INVITE THEM!

Thanks.

rileyt
Jan. 18, 2001, 08:37 AM
In response to several questions... (although I'm no authority) I think these are the facts:

Yes the ban affects Scotland, Wales, and N. Ireland... but not Ireland (Republic of)... that's a separate country

Yes the House of Lords will try to stall it... but they can't stall it forever, and they have no power to un-write it.

Yes, because of the parliamentary system, it will probably be at least a year or more before the law takes effect.

I have never hunted in England, but I understand the "kill" is a much more important (and common) event. Foxhunting here in the U.S., at least with the packs I've hunted with, hardly EVER results in a kill. Maybe our foxes are smarter? (sorry, I know it's not funny... it's just the situation has me so grim). I do think, please inform me if I'm wrong, that perhaps, foxhunters in England are more identified (rightly or wrongly) with the past nobility. I think that England, because of it's history, has a much more strongly divided populace in the "commoners v. royalty" way. So, although I know some foxhunters are just horsemen/farmers... I think it is easier for the average Brit to cast them all in the light of "toffs." Its a sad state. And yes... how about their bloody "football"? Talk about violent!

I must say, I'm dissapointed in the Brits... usually I find that they are far more down to earth and realistic than Americans.

Portia
Jan. 18, 2001, 08:49 AM
Does anyone know the answer to the drag hunt question?

If the ban is on hunting fox or other animals with dogs/horses, it should not prohibit the sport of chasing a scent -- not an animal --around the countryside. But it depends on the way the law is written.

I guess there is a potential problem in that most hounds in England are used to live hunts and will follow a live scent, but can't the masters do something to keep them on the drag?

As for hunting coyotes, they are much faster than hounds and have great stamina, so they rarely, rarely, ever get caught. I go out once a year or so with our local hunt (coyotes, of course), but only on the guarantee that they've never come close to actually catching anything.

Magnolia
Jan. 18, 2001, 08:50 AM
I saw some lovely footage on 60 Minutes about "eco-terrorism". They showed this Vegan Animal Rights guy at a animal rights rally. He kept whacking this poor police horse in the knees with a pole holding a banner. So I guess police horses are OK to abuse and beat. Hypocrites. I guess he was too cowardly to hit the officer.

Anne FS
Jan. 18, 2001, 08:59 AM
Drag hunting is not banned.

Not yet, anyway. Once ARs move on to riding (and they will)expect it. ARs believe owning and/or riding a horse to be cruel.

Scotland is NOT affected; only England and Wales.

Under the new law, foxes can still be shot, gassed, trapped. Actually, under the new law, these are now the recommended methods. Nice, huh?

Drag hunting is not an acceptable alternative to hunters, btw--it's not the same thing.

PLEASE NOTE: the new law bans hunting with dogs. This means not just the mounted foxhunters with their foxhounds, but the greyhounds after rabbits, and two dogs in the park after a bunny.

Weatherford
Jan. 18, 2001, 09:05 AM
The ban includes beagling

and bassetting

and coursing

and terriering (after rats, even!)

and all the foot foxhunting in the Fells.

SLW
Jan. 18, 2001, 09:30 AM
Not much to add to the sentitments expressed thus far. The AR folks believed the animals were real in "Mary Poppins" . Someone explain to them that movie was FICTIONAL! If they don't accept that, send them to Kansas, I have a horse that changes colors.....

vineyridge
Jan. 18, 2001, 09:31 AM
If all horse people were to boycott travel to England and the purchase of English horse products, it would make a statement about the economic impact of the chase on other than just the immediate farmers.

Bumpkin
Jan. 18, 2001, 09:34 AM
That is right.
If you are suspected of letting your dogs go into any earth after a rabbit or anything, you will be thrown into jail and recieve a sentence worse than a bank robber!
If you have any animal hairs of the banned animals in your car or the boot of your car, you will be arrested.
I know of people being arrested for just taking their terriers out for a run across the fields, and suspected of hunting.

SLW
Jan. 18, 2001, 09:36 AM
Question, what law exist in England, at this time, which prohibits one from hunting terriers, other than tresspassing?

vineyridge
Jan. 18, 2001, 09:38 AM
I believe that hunting rodents with dogs is still allowed.

And shooters are also allowed to use dogs to find injured animals.

This is class legislation aimed at the "rich toffs".

The ALF/PETA folks are against all ownership of any animals. They want all domesticated animals to become extinct. That's one reason they support vigorous neutering campaigns for dogs and cats. After all, if you neuter all your breeding age stock, you won't have breeding age stock after a while.

LaurieB
Jan. 18, 2001, 09:56 AM
The only thing I can add to what's been said is please everybody, watch your backs! Don't ever allow yourself to become complacent about the rights we enjoy here, because if this can happen in England we are most certainly next on PETA's agenda.

(Stepping off soapbox now.)

hobson
Jan. 18, 2001, 10:26 AM
I'm uncomfortable with the blanket dismissals of animal rights proponents. Yes, some of the PETA folks are wackos. Yes, many of their actions are ill-conceived and the products of rather dim naive, and misguided thinking. Many are utterly stupid. Many are honorably committed to making life better for animals who can't help themselves.

A disclaimer: I am not informed enough on the ban in Britain to declaim much about it, but I know that class resentment plays a major role in the issue. PLEASE NOTE BEFORE YOU FLAME THAT I AM NEITHER SUPPORTING NOR OPPOSING THE BAN.

BUT...I think that animal rights scholars like Peter Singer --love him or hate him -- force us to take a hard, important look at our relationship with animals, and face up to what we humans impose on them, eveything from the injuries we cause horses by riding them to the evil of purposeful abuse. Guess what guys & gals: horse owners are NOT universally kind and loving to their animals! Rescue organizations would not exist if there were no abused and neglected horses. I personally wish the activists would come down harder on show-ring abuses. You know they exist - I've seen them discussed here.

I'm perplexed at the absence of moderate voices here. It's all "down with animal rights" and "hooray for animal owners." Magnolia is the only person I noticed who acknowledged the cruelty of everyday practices like factory farming.

I think there is a place for animal rights activism. Before you start flaming, I do NOT think there is a place for idiocy like "liberating" caged mink and the like. But somebody needs to be struggling to end dog fighting. I haven't heard many others besides animal rights activists opposing the cruelty that invariably results when dim-bulb, unprepared parents buy their children helpless chicks for Easter or black kittens for Halloween, just because they're cute. Somebody ought to be questioning the destruction we visit on two-year-old racehorses (and I feel shame that I have not done something constructive about it). Speaking just of the horse industry, we obviously do not police ourselves well enough, since I still hear of hellish "training" methods attached to almost every riding discipline. Since we horse owners and participants in horse sports have yet to stop the myriad abuses, what's wrong with someone else targeting it?

Maybe it's easy to just say "bad, bad PETA." I'm just not prepared to do the same, because I've done virtually nothing to speak out or act against cruelty and abuse in my own sport. Sorry this is so long, but it's a sore spot for me.

Everythingbutwings
Jan. 18, 2001, 10:32 AM
and not mentioning or acknowledging the decent and caring animal rescue and humane groups. You are right!

I think that it is just that this particular topic is such an arrow to the heart of where most sport horse interests originated.

LaurieB
Jan. 18, 2001, 10:41 AM
Hobson, my problem with the animal rights groups is that they themselves don't take a moderate stand. Certainly there are many types of behavior that I, as horse and dog owner and lover, would like to see stopped. But PETA's platform targets the responsible animal owners along with the abusers. They are not looking for an end to abuse, they are looking for an end to animal interaction with humans. Period.

Their view is not "you shouldn't be racing 2 year olds, they're too young." It's "you shouldn't be racing horses at all. And by the way, you shouldn't be riding them either. Nor should you be breeding them. Nor should you own them, which makes them slaves and takes away their rights as citizens of this planet."

Until the animal rights groups stop their blanket condemnation of pet ownership of any sort, I will continue my blanket condemnation of them.

fernie fox
Jan. 18, 2001, 10:55 AM
Please do not confuse '' animal rights activists''whom I mentioned in my earlier posts with Animal Welfare groups.there is no comparison..
There will always be a need for Animal Welfare groups,they do a wonderful job and I support them wholeheartedly.

fernie fox

Erin
Jan. 18, 2001, 11:20 AM
... to tell the difference between rights groups and welfare groups. HSUS, generally considered a welfare organization, targeted eventing during the Olympics. (With a story that contained a lot of half-truths... one that would probably make any uninformed animal-loving person think eventing was horrible.)

If I weren't involved with horses, it might be easier to get drawn into the animal rights crap. But it's pretty obvious to me that a 1,200-pound horse is not a pet. It's meant to live outside, and usually earn its keep in some fashion. Because of that, it's easier for me to understand that a dairy farmer does not think of his cows as pets. It doesn't necessarily mean he treats them inhumanely just because they're not invited into his living room.

Point is, if you're a pollster and you call up Joe Blow and say "Are you for or against chasing foxes with dogs until the dogs catch them and tear them apart?", you're not going to find too many people who say they support that kind of thing. It's too far outside their realm of reality.

Honestly, I personally have a hard time with some of this stuff. I would definitely NOT enjoy being there for the kill (however rare) during a foxhunt. I would also never, ever shoot an animal for sport. Hell, I'd have a really hard time shooting an animal even to put it out of its misery. I'm just not into killing things.

I do, for the most part, support other people's rights to kill things, though. (Hopefully done in as humane a manner as possible, preferably done only when necessary, and definitely only done by those who know what they're doing and aren't guzzling Budweiser at the same time they're loading a rifle.) I'd love to live in a Mary Poppins world where all animals lived in harmony to old age... but as I'm getting older and more jaded, I realize it ain't gonna happen. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Long, rambling post... sorry!

3Ponies
Jan. 18, 2001, 11:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I'm sure the fox is killed quickly and in a natural way. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've seen my dogs kill rats...so I'm not assuming that the natural way is so quick! I'd have fewer problems accepting the notion of foxhunting if the hounds were simply muzzled. I've heard that an argument against muzzling is that it is cruel to the hounds...but what about the fox? From any point of view, it is the fox who loses out...it is hard for me to reconcile the death of the hunted as a justifiable sacrifice simply to preserve the lifestyle of the hunter.

ccoronios
Jan. 18, 2001, 11:37 AM
Yes, fernie, there is a tremendous difference between Animal Welfare and Animal Rights Activists, and we should be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Perhaps what we need to do is to actively rally Animal Welfare groups to join with us ('us' being concerned animal owners/lovers) to hold forth against the radicals.
Hmmmm.....life without any pets..... But, once liberated from the tyranny of slavery, what happens to our horses, dogs, cats... until they become extinct? Of course, that probably won't take long, what with road kill and starvation..... And who pays the repair bills? Have you ever hit a deer??

Magnolia
Jan. 18, 2001, 11:38 AM
I dismiss PETA because they don't do a darn thing and funnel dollars away from groups that could do good.
Currently, in NC, there is a big backlash against Hog Farming. Sierra Club, small farmers and other groups are suing the farmers with the huge lagoons. Where is PETA? Could they not help in this cruelty against animals? Nope, too busy getting publicity by laughing at rich ladies in fur coats, that could care less.
PETA picks the easy wins. It sure would be hard to force the meat farmers to treat animals with some humanity, but it is easy to stop a small minority from their activity.
Hobson, I definitely agree that people need to think hard about the abuses our animals suffer, and work for change, but PETA and HSUS are not the answer. Horse people need to monitor each other. I've read so many posts along the lines of "Mr. Big Name Trainer was beating my horse at a clinic - I wanted to speak up, but who am I to say anything?" Speak up. Make it unacceptable. Say things to people. File complaints at shows. Judges, if you see a horse being beaten or lunged to death in the warm-up, don't pin it.
Some crazy jack$%# from PETA telling me at a show not to hit my horse would make me laugh. However, the same words from a judge, fellow competitor or trainer would likely shame me.
I believe that the majority love their animals. I can not comprehend a person that abuses. The horses are our friends and companions. I think the mix is a good one. How many of us have lives that would not be as rich without our friend the horse. I cannot accept the acceptance of abuse, nor can I accept the thought of being told I can never ride my friend around a course of jumps again.
For whatever reason, there are so many people with hatred and abuse in their heart - from the ALFer that bombs the fish and chip shop, to the prestigious trainer with too much pride that resorts to cruelty to make his horse perform. It is up to those of us with love in our hearts to rise above it all and show these people the way.
In conclusion to all this jumble, go to your library and read Black Beauty ~ think about it. Look at your animals life from the eyes of your animal.

vineyridge
Jan. 18, 2001, 11:41 AM
Some British foxhunting supporters say that the chase leads to a healthy, but controlled fox population, much as deer hunters justify their sport here. Makes some sense that the foxes that are actually caught are the old and/sicker ones that need to prey on chickens and lambs, instead of their "wild" food like mice and rabbits.

Dogs are prey animals. I have dogs who love to kill rabbits, squirrels, rats, and armadillos. I have to say that I am delighted to see them acting primally. Dogs don't have moral qualms about acting according to their natures. Unless we ridiculously believe that our dogs have consciences and can be taught not to be prey animals, then we have to accept that any dog will kill another animal in dog fashion according to it's breeding.

And that, it seems to me is what so many animal activists are not able or willing to admit. They impose human standards of morality on beasts. It seems to me that the PETA people have gained a tremendous victory here, not so much for foxes as for the criminalization of basic animal behavior, fostered by humans, that must necessarily lead to the destruction of hundreds, maybe thousands of dogs that are now potential criminals every day of their lives.

Erin
Jan. 18, 2001, 12:12 PM
The "Committee of Inquiry into Hunting with Dogs in England and Wales" report is actually online, if anyone is interested in reading it. (It was linked to the Washington Post article.)

http://www.huntinginquiry.gov.uk/mainsections/huntingframe.htm

laura
Jan. 18, 2001, 12:50 PM
vineyridge - your last post made me think about this...

If, as PETA would no doubt love, all of these dogs were "freed" into the wild and ignored, what would they do for food? Hunt! Maybe PETA would want these dogs to be "liberated" but muzzled so they can't harm the foxes (or the rodents, or whatever else they may find) until they starved. Oh no wait, but wouldn't that be interfering with their freedom?

Doesn't make sense to me /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

hobson
Jan. 18, 2001, 01:01 PM
Radical activists do some important things.

They make the more moderate, less controversial animal welfare groups acceptable to us. Without PETA around as a comparison, we'd think the animal shelter folks were raving lunatics. (Incidentally, there is plenty of crossover among the two camps.)

Radicals force issues on us that need to be examined. Radicals activists in any arena rarely see the results they desire in their lifetimes, but they make the rest of us listen and compromise, and society adjusts a little to that agenda. Some groups who were considered dangerous radicals include women suffragists, civil rights activists, and union activists who brought about the 8-hour work day. These folks were reviled even more than you all hate PETA, but I bet we'd all agree that it's GOOD that women can vote, that African Americans have access to jobs and education, and that we (at least the lucky ones) no longer have to work 80 hours a week. Naturally, there are always radicals who are just plain dangerous lunatics. We owe it to a just society to look closely at all their agendas.

I doubt that any reasonably intelligent scholar specializing in animal rights theory would think that setting all our pets loose would be a practical idea. These are some of the things these philosopers have made me consider, though:

What if I love jumping more than anything else, but it's making my horse go progressively lame? Is it ethical and moral to bute up the horse and keep going? Which is more important - my desire for pleasure or an animal's well-being?

Is it right to capture wild animals for use as exotic pets?

Is it ethical or kind to keep birds in cages? To make dogs live in small cages while their owners are asleep and at work?

A lot of farm animals suffer terribly. Should I promote factory farming by eating Perdue chicken?

I love watching races. Is it ethical for me to patronize racetracks where 2-year-olds are ground up and spat out crippled and useless?

Animal rights theory is provocative and polarizing. I can fully understand why a lot of people feel very threatened by it. I'm just saying that the kind of challenge these folks present forces us to look at important issues we otherwise would not bother much with, and to do some rigorous self-appraisal. In the way that civil rights leaders challenge us to own up to how white folks benefit from institutionalized racism, I think that the animal rights crowd pushes us toward being more honest about how we treat our critters, even when we love them. It's uncomfortable, but then, the ethical act is not always the easiest.

hobson
Jan. 18, 2001, 01:10 PM
I need to add that I am not a PETA supporter. It should be clear to just about anyone that they've become a sadly boneheaded bunch. My frustration with this topic lies in the identification and lumping together of all radical animal rights activists and theorist/scholars as PETA members. I'm talking about some really challenging and interesting scholarly dialogue and research that's going on...these are not the folks who want you to turn your terriers loose to fend for themselves in the nearest municipal park.

Weatherford
Jan. 18, 2001, 01:13 PM
A Hunting Web site:


www.huntfacts.com (http://www.huntfacts.com)

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> It's aimed at non-hunters and seeks to persuade them to find out about the subject before supporting moves to criminalize it. It's in it's infancy. It doesn't seek to compete with anyone else - particularly not the CA. I've found that approaches to MP's and the press are more effective when sent by a 'campaigning organisation' than by an individual - hence my adoption of the campaign name 'Hunting for Tolerance'. I know it's partisan but that's the way it's going to stay. The opposition get quite enough exposure without help from me.

Any suggestions on good ways to get non-hunter traffic to the site would be much appreciated because I'm a novice at this.

Peter Presland <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Weatherford
Jan. 18, 2001, 01:17 PM
the extremists in the UK have gotten a bit violent (runnning down horses & riders, bombin cars, etc), so the Countryside Alliance put together a little information packet for information and self-protection.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> The Alliance have today published advice for those of us who might feel under threat from animal rights extremists.
Visit

http://www.countryside-alliance.org/newsextra/010116guide.htm

Nick Onslow <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Erin
Jan. 18, 2001, 01:23 PM
Great points, Hobson.

Someone mentioned Black Beauty earlier. At that time, I think the groups that we would today consider good animal welfare types were also considered "radical." People then considered horses their personal property to abuse if they felt like it.

The way we think about animals today can be directly attributed to those people/groups, who made other realize cruelty isn't acceptable.

I'm not an animal rights supporter, but they do at least make me think very carefully about what I do with my animals and the reasons why.

woodbern
Jan. 18, 2001, 01:26 PM
will it extend to drag queens too?

What a crock. Expect more on this side of the pond, as this will fuel the "antis" but good!

/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

[This message was edited by woodbern on Jan. 18, 2001 at 04:42 PM.]

Weatherford
Jan. 18, 2001, 01:44 PM
ANY hunting with DOGS - that includes terriers and sight hounds!

That include RAT HUNTING WITH JACK RUSSELL's !!

vineyridge
Jan. 18, 2001, 02:38 PM
Thanks to an FOL'er, I was given a URL for the text of the bill that passed.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200001/cmbills/002/01002--j.htm

Hunting for rodents with dogs is okay, as long as it takes place above ground.

Flushing with dogs and retrieving with dogs is okay.

What I find morally reprehensible and hypocritical is an exception for using dogs to flush game for hunting with birds of prey. If Parliament were truly concerned about animal welfare, that hunting would be banned also. The prey is just as much chased and rended by birds of prey as by dogs, and ita welfare is just as much compromised.

ponyjocke
Jan. 18, 2001, 03:25 PM
i'm sorry but my blood is boiling! i come from a hunting family my dad was a huntsman my grandad is a huntsmen and my mom has a pack of beagles (how the british hunt bunnies) we have a good fiend actually several in england with beagle and foxhunting packs and the thought that they could be banned from their livliehoods is outrageous. sorry my 1st message on this board had to be a rage /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif also did you here about how the pete in the usa took foxhounds out of their kennel @ night and threw them into the middle of the beltway around baltimore! tell me that isn't crazy! so sorry again 4 raging!! : /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

fernie fox
Jan. 18, 2001, 04:51 PM
Thank you for your responses,we are headed into difficult times.
Unity is the only way to face these problems,as I said in a previous post the M.F.H.A,would be well worth joining.
Ponyjocke I did'nt hear about that.How long ago did that happen?

fernie fox

Weatherford
Jan. 18, 2001, 06:00 PM
Your grandfather has the BEST pack of hounds in the US!

Your Mom's beagles used to be pretty good, too...

(I played guitar at your parents wedding... /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif )

Hmm, I feel old - welcome to the COTHBB!

Caruso
Jan. 18, 2001, 07:07 PM
http://www.lineone.net/lifestyles/silver_surfers.html

SLW
Jan. 18, 2001, 08:35 PM
Thank you for the link, that was refreshing and logical!!!

Policy of Truth
Jan. 18, 2001, 09:06 PM
Although I can appreciate the sentiment of your argument, I have to say that I never needed PETA and other extremist groups to make me think twice about animal crualty.

For me, it is wrong. Period. The lord I worship gave humans dominion of all the creatures of the earth to CARE for them. I have never forgoten that. I have also never forgoten the horrible propaganda proposed by the hypocrites who work for PETA. Or what they do in the name of such b.s.

I think you have good intentions, but I would like for you to consider that groups like this are what our government calls "terrorists"...and for good reason.

Remember: some of us have morals either from our religion or just because we do not have abusive personalities. PETA is abusive. They trade one abuse for another in the name of "freedom".

Anne FS
Jan. 19, 2001, 06:37 AM
Hobson wrote about AR activisim: "But somebody needs to be struggling to end dog fighting. I haven't heard many others besides AR activists opposing the cruelty...[Easter chicks, black kittens, etc]."

Just because 'you' haven't heard it doesn't mean thousands of good people haven't done it. Animal welfare groups, dog owners and breeders, concerned people, local communities, MANY people have fought to end all the things you mention. With dogs it's usually the breeder groups and associations who work mightily on these fronts, to educate and to prevent abuse of and mis-use of animals. Just because you are not aware but you see some PETA person on the news doesn't mean PETA made anything good happen. I know first hand about lots of good people who have made terrific positive changes in animal welfare, and comments like "ARs are the only ones" infuriate me. Just because you, by your own admission, have "done virtually nothing to speak out or act against cruelty and abuse..." doesn't mean others non-AR have!!

Every dog group I know of has been saying for years and years to not give puppies & kittens as unexpected gifts, to not present them Christmas day, etc., etc.

Anne FS
Jan. 19, 2001, 06:40 AM
Erin wrote: "HSUS, generally considered a welfare organization"

HSUS hasn't been considered a welfare organization for many years. After so much information on HSUS being out there on animal boards of all types it drives me nuts to hear people still seem surprised that HSUS is AR, that they run no shelters, are against pet ownership, hunting, breeding, on and on. Isn't anybody thinking? Listening? Reading? I don't get it.

Anne FS
Jan. 19, 2001, 06:58 AM
Erin, you wrote: "Hell, I'd have a really hard time shooting an animal even to put it out of its misery. I'm just not into killing things."

Oh, then I suppose the person who does put a terribly suffering animal out of it's misery is "into killing things." What a terrible thing to say.

Three times in my life I have been present in situations where a deer was hit by a car and horribly injured. Once was a boarder at my barn who went on a trail ride and came across a hideously injured deer that had probably been lying in a field for days. We called the game commissioner and an officer shot it.

The other two times were along the roadside. One young deer was down with broken legs and other injuries, the second incident was so horrible: the deer's pelvis was shattered and it was crawling along the road. State police were summoned both times. Gee, thank goodness we could reach men who are "into killing things." But if any of us suburbanites had had a gun, we would've shot those deer. Yes, it would have been "a really hard time" but love and mercy are sometimes hard.

Once someone brought me a baby bunny that their dog brought home. The bunny had a shattered hind leg that smelled rotten and was infested with maggots. I couldn't bring myself to kill it and had to take it to a neighbor who wrung it's neck--poorly, and the bunny didn't die right away. I almost threw up. If I had been truly merciful I would've killed it quickly myself and not made it wait, suffering until I could take it to yet another person because I couldn't handle it. I prolonged horrible suffering. I'll never forget it. And I won't do it again.

If there had been any possibility of these animals being saved, they would have been. But I feel for and support the people who make the tough decisions and do the tough acts. They care. They are far better people than we (I'm including myself here)who say I could never do that, I'm not into killing things.

Erin
Jan. 19, 2001, 07:30 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Oh, then I suppose the person who does put a terribly suffering animal out of it's misery is "into killing things." What a terrible thing to say.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh, now come on... talk about putting words in someone's mouth. Do you really think I'm in FAVOR of letting animals suffer rather than "be into killing things"?

My point was simply that I, personally, hate killing anything from spiders on up, and would have a hard time doing it even if it were necessary. I'm NOT saying that's good... bad, in fact. Today's suburban-raised kids, myself included, are too far removed from things like this to know that they're NECESSARY sometimes.

I'm not justifying it or saying this is the right way to think, I'm just trying to say that this is the way some people DO think. Devil's advocate and all that, y'know? Sheesh...

I agree with you, by the way, that HSUS is on the more radical side of the animal welfare movement, and may even have moved somewhat into animal rights. They are not, however, against pet ownership.

I don't agree with all of their campaigns, or with their style, but they do some nice work too. Check out their website (http://www.hsus.org) and look at all the information there about spaying/neutering, animal care, and all of that sort of thing. I wouldn't donate money to them because they're a bit too radical for me, but I still think they're a far cry from PETA.

hobson
Jan. 19, 2001, 09:00 AM
a couple of things:

pacificsolo, it sounds like, had you been born 300 years ago, you would have emerged with fully formed modern ideas about animal welfare despite the prevailing culture. Maybe I would have too. Good for us.

How many times do I have to say I don't like PETA? There are non-terrorist, non-violent, really intelligent people out there who are debating these ideas in adademic environments. What they are doing is incredibly challenging and interesting, if you all would try reading about it rather than dismissing the whole caboodle because you oppose the activities of one or two specific organizations. Go find a Peter Singer essay, and you will probably be horrified by his theories, but he will not steal your dog, and will certainly make you rethink your assumptions about our stewardship of animals. What's wrong with thinking?

AnneFS, I stand corrected. I am glad to hear that more mainstream people than I thought are active in animal cruelty issues. But when those efforts do not result in an end to abuse, can you understand the extreme frustration of someone who REALLY REALLY loves animals? Again, I don't approve of doing stupid things because of that frustration, but I certainly can identify with the feeling.

And finally, get real everyone! Just because a movement has gained steam across the pond does not mean it will suddenly become successful here! Western European governments have banned a number of things that we continue to enjoy in this country. They banned capital punishment around the same time the Supreme Court here allowed states to crank up their electric chairs and start toasting criminals left and right. They banned handgun ownership - we didn't. I know in a lot of European countries it's illegal to clip dog's ears and tails (with the exception of tails for hunting dogs), but I almost never see a Doberman here with lovely natural ears. Western Europeans think it's barbarous. You can't hunt with leg-hold traps in Germany for sure (not sure about elsewhere), but they still do it here in Pennsylvania. German hunters I know consider it shockingly cruel.

The EU is doing a lot of work in the area of economic justice, human rights, fair agricultural policy and more, NONE of which is getting imported here. Why does everyone think that American foxes will suddenly benefit from the import of European thinking when a hundred more significant policy ideas get laughed at? We also do not have the same degree of seething anti-aristocracy sentiment here that is doing so much to drive the ban effort in Britian. So many factors are different, and I just don't get the panic here.

Anne FS
Jan. 19, 2001, 09:08 AM
I'm sorry if I jumped on you, Erin, but I do have to call you on this one. You accused me of putting words into your mouth. I did not do this. Re-read my first paragraph. I was very careful to quote you verbatim. The words that came from your mouth (keyboard)may not have been what you meant, but you did say it.

You and I probably agree on this issue, but the way it was said made me want to not let it pass.
I've read so much of the anti-hunting and other AR stuff being said in the UK, and so often ARs say just that kind of thing: "I could never do that, I'm not into killing" whether it be about foxhunting or a hamburger or a leather handbag. Then horse folks decry foxhunting while festooning themselves and their horses in leather.

[This message was edited by Anne FS on Jan. 19, 2001 at 12:15 PM.]

Policy of Truth
Jan. 19, 2001, 09:26 AM
My religious beliefs have existed FAR more than 300 years. Therefore, yes, had I lived 300 years ago, I would have still been taught the same things by my God.

I know us "right winged crazy Christians" sometimes seem out of control, but some of us have taken to heart the gift of life. (And we don't bomb abortion clinics to make a right to life point either!)

Ever heard of a conscience? 300 or 3000 years ago, I would be the same. I have an individual spirit. I have a deep love and appreciation for all living creatures. I also appreciate the "circle of life" as one Disney film puts it.

Maybe for you, groups like PETA serve the purpose of alerting the community about such things as abuse. However, I personally don't change my opinions because of groups like PETA. I knew hitting my dog was wrong as a child. I think my mom told me not to "pet to hard" one time. I learned my way of treating animals by my deep affection and connection with them. They are the best teachers...if we let them....

I understand an acknowledge that you personally do not support PETA. However, you give them credit in an area (awareness) that I strongly disagree with. Sorry if I upset you. That was not my intention. I wanted to tell you, though, that PETA has not had an impact on me and my ways of treating my many pets in the way you had described. They DO make me fearful. I get deffensive when I am threatened...even by an idea...especially with the letters P-E-T-A! I have read more stories and had more personal experiences with this group and others like it. Their ideas are frightening.

hobson
Jan. 19, 2001, 09:56 AM
Well, suffice to say, pacificsolo, that if everyone in the world were just like you, there would be no need for us to even mention animal welfare/rights. Sad, though, that people who refer to themselves as Christians have through the ages gleefully burned and tortured heathens and heretics. There was even a period in the middle ages when all good Christians were instructed by the pope to kill and/or torture any cat they encountered. So much for the circle of life. Had you or I been alive then and protested, we'd have been summarily burned as well. Anyway, you might be surprised to know that I am familiar with the word "conscience." Are you aware that plenty of people who have them don't bother to use them?

Erin
Jan. 19, 2001, 10:01 AM
Anne, you quoted me verbatim, but then attributed to that a meaning that in no way could have been gleaned from anything else I said anywhere on this thread. Sorry, but I don't see much value in that.

Anyway, we're basically making the same point. You said in your post: "If any of us suburbanites had had a gun, we would've shot those deer. Yes, it would have been 'a really hard time' but love and mercy are sometimes hard."

Exactly my point (although I'm apparently not making that clear). I would hate to do it, even in an instance where it's necessary, and even if it weren't an animal I had an emotional attachment to. Why? Because I grew up on Bambi and Bugs Bunny, and I'm a bona fide animal nut. And because I've never had to kill anything more than a bug in my entire life.

Now, if I had grown up on a working farm 100 or even 50 years ago? I bet it wouldn't be as big of an issue.

Don't you think a big part of protecting hunting and other "country ways of life" is convincing people like you and me, who do not kill things on a regular basis and would probably have a hard time doing so, that it isn't necessarily a bad thing?

aubreyuga
Jan. 19, 2001, 10:26 AM
Out of curiosity, I went and visited the PETA website to see if they are really against me owning and riding my horse. I found articles about racing horses, circus horses, horses that pull carriages, PMU foals, and the like, but nothing about regular owners like most of us who ride and show their horses. Can someone tell me what PETA said and/or where I can find it? I'm really curious.

hp
Jan. 19, 2001, 10:26 AM
I heard the news on the radio . . . BBC's World program. As I remember, it mostly discussed the push for this ban as a result of class (as in socio-ecomomic) conflict rather than the animal rights perspective.

I certainly agree with Erin's post, (sorry haven't figured out the quote thing)

"...The remarks about "toffs" are interesting... especially considering the discussions about wealth and the horse industry going on here lately.
Who here doesn't know more than a handful of people who think riding/showing is just a bunch of rich people wearing funny clothes and using expensive horses for entertainment?

Ooh, this is a scary precedent."

In the interest of hunting / horse sports, it is our business to make ourselves more appealing to the general public, even if they never go to a show or sit on a horse. Perhaps we should look a what golf and tennis has done. I know the PGA does a ton of fundraising for scholarships & chariable causes as well as offering clinics to youth. That can go a long way for public perception.

Erin
Jan. 19, 2001, 10:36 AM
This is a guess, but... I don't think PETA as an organization is currently working toward banning pet ownership or riding horses as an official campaign. But some leaders of PETA and many other animal rights groups definitely think those things are wrong. Ingrid Newkirk, the founder (?) of PETA, has said "a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy," or something to that effect. Meaning, animals and humans are equal in her eyes.

Banning pet ownership is obviously not something that most Americans would be in favor of... and I'm guessing they don't want to turn people off, so they don't advertise that it's something many of them would advocate. They probably couldn't feasibly ever do it anyway.

Banning competitive horse sports, however... I could see them taking aim at that.

doubleclearjumper
Jan. 19, 2001, 12:19 PM
Relax, everyone! This bill passed, AS EXPECTED, by a wide majority, and now it goes to the House of Lords. Will take quite a long time to get there. They will probably put a damper on it. This is Britain's affair -- to be decided by British voters. Some of the polls indicate that this is the wish of up to 85% of the citizenry. There are several drag hunts in Britain, and they will gain in popularity. There has been a great many letters to newspapers for and against the ban. It's for democracy to decide. Some hunts have caused damage to house and property holders here which drag hunting would have avoided. Why can't riders enjoy drag hunts? A close friend of mine who has participated in both fox and drag hunting relates that she now PREFERS drag hunting because the pace is continuous, no halting for dogs to pick up the scent for hours on end, or hunts ending when the scent cannot be recanted. Some drag hunts have all the traditional accoutrements, stirrup cup, etc. and are enjoyable to watch when you know at the end you won't find blood and guts. Ever seen the tragically pathetic sight of a stag hunted until it drops and is felled by hounds? Participating in drag hunts can continue to be an enjoyable day out for riders and still provide jobs, etc. Thanks for letting me vent!

Inverness
Jan. 19, 2001, 12:37 PM
I take it from your post, Doubleclearjumper, that the ban, if it becomes effective, will not apply to drag hunting? (I apologize for not having had the time to read the actual text of the rule).

I'm new the sport of riding in its entirety, but I imagine that drag hunting would offer the same sense of exhilaration and challenge as a live hunt (perhaps even more so).

I have little problem with sport of foxhunting as practiced in the US, largely because the hounds, as I understand it, are trained not to kill. Like Erin, I would not enjoy the spectacle of a kill under any circumstances. Accordingly, I think I would prefer to participate in a drag hunt when the time comes.

My question, now, really is whether the wider furor in the UK concerns the welfare of the foxes, or whether the broader movement has its real roots in the unpopular perception that the sport is elitist and exclusionary.

Given the number of horses and riders in the UK, I'm curious to know whether the statistics support the assertions that hunting is a sport engaged in only by the very wealthy?

And BTW, Anne FS, Erin is correct - you quoted her out of context.

[This message was edited by Inverness on Jan. 19, 2001 at 03:46 PM.]

Heather
Jan. 19, 2001, 01:12 PM
But I guess I'm going to jump in here anyway.

First let me say that I am no fan of PETA, nor do I support the ban.

However, when I see the pro-hunting folks screaming and crying and not understanding how this could happen (and BTW, my husband is among you--in fact this is the one consistent sore spot in our mairrage), I feel like altering that famous quote and say "It's the killing, stupid."

I understand all the million logical reasons why there needs to be foxhunting in England, and for instance, deer hunting here in the states. But honestly, for me, I simply can't view this with cold logic. On my personal moral compass, I can't reconcile myself to be OK with the notion of killing something for fun or sport. And, I have met and talked to lots and lots of intelligent, erudite people, who understand all the logic arguments, and are still extremely uncomfortable with the killing.

Yes I eat meat, wear leather, etc, and I am now waiting for the cries of hypocrite to be heaped upon me. Go ahead, you are right, I am a hypocrite--but good lord who isnt? These are gray areas for most people--and if you pro-hunting folks really want to help your cause you need to understand that.

And then, for me and others, I hear the cries for solidarity among "sportsman" and I become even more uncomfortable. I don't love it when PETA comes after my sport of eventing, but geeze, I think back to all the rude, boorish, hateful, harrassing, thrill-killing deer hunters I had to conetend with when I lived "way out" here in Virginia and I think "I wouldn't want to stand within 500 miles of those people, let alone on the same platform." I also have some discomfort because of gun-hunting groups' close ties to the NRA, an organization I don't wish to support or be involved in. I know all hunters aren't like the ones I dealt with--but a lot are, and they certainly didn't win me over to their cause.

Now, I am a educated, reasonably intelligent, lifelong animal owning individual. I would hazard that I have more contact with animals on a daily basis than 85% of the people in this country--and that's how I feel. Imagine then what greater difficulty reconciling this logic vs heart issue is to people whose only animal interaction is with their poodle or tabby? Or those that don't even have that? Calling them stupid and dismissing them as clueless city dwellers/suburbanites isn't going to help your cause. In fact it just pis*** people off and turns them off.

Finally, I have read the quotes of English hunstment and terriermen discussing the en masse euthanizing of dogs they will undertake should the ban pass. I would point out that PR wise, you pro hunting folks should tell these guys to shut up. The reality is, there will need to be some compromise on this issue. Mass killing of innocent dogs because you didn't get your way makes you no better than the PETA terrorists, and in fact proves you to be the heartless butchers they think you are. I realize these are quotes for effect--but they don't help you on bit.

Flame-suit firmly zipped!

SLW
Jan. 19, 2001, 01:34 PM
The issue regarding foxhunting in England is everything to do about class envy and little to do about fox welfare. DCJ indicated that some hunt members have caused damage while hunting. In my hunt, I cannot imagine the dressing down one would recieve for riding in an unauthorized area or destroying landowners property. It is not tolerated! /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif As with any aspect of riding, there will be extremes in behavior which cast disgrace on the acitivity. We have not banned show jumping due to the illegal behavior of certain national American riders, have we? Ill behaved hunters are not a reason to ban hunting. Take away their memberships.

I am not aware of hunts training hounds to not kill AND I am not an authority on hounds so I am sharing my knowledge from terrier trials and hunting. Hounds are pack animals, bred to run, hunt and kill, as the kill is the reward, or to be more PC the outcome, for doing their job correctly- our whippet would kill a distant rabbit in a heartbeat. There may be some hunts which do not allow a kill, verses ones that do not intend. I am not aware of not allowing a kill with the many hunts I have hunted with in span of 20 years in the south east and now, mid-west.

no halting for dogs to pick up the scent for hours on end, or hunts ending when the scent cannot be recanted. This is not hunting in the traditional sense but it is enjoyable. Some days a hunt will last for half a day, other days it will be done and settled in 2 hours do to the weather which impacts the scenting conditions. Only the MFH and his staff will decide when the hounds have provided all they can for the day. There are others here who know far more about the hounds work than I. Drag hunting has it's place, just as shooting at clay pigons does in the bird hunters world by taking away the live target.

Fox Hunting is not for everyone who enjoys riding horses but the death of a fox at the end of hunt is not a reason to make this sport illeagal. My fellow British riders problems are my problems and I watch with great interest how it is being decided over there this year. I am not a blood thirsty mid-aged woman. I am middle aged and enjoy the choice to do with my horses many things, hunting is but one of them.

Now, addressing my blood thirsty denial, I am off to bury a great hen which died this morning. Normally we "return" poultry to the woods, as in nature, but this 5 year old hen was a pet and she is being buried this afternoon in our frozen mid-west soil. My youngest dauther will be heartbroken when I share the news with her this afternoon.

[This message was edited by SLWarrior on Jan. 19, 2001 at 10:11 PM.]

Inverness
Jan. 19, 2001, 01:54 PM
Thank you SLWarrior for your experienced input.

I got the idea that many American hounds are trained to leave the prey from a story in yesterday's Washington Post:

"While American fox hunters - including President-elect Bush's nominee to head the [EPA], Christine Todd Whitman -- train their dogs not to attack the prey, the British insist that the final kill by the dog pack is an essential part of the sport." WASHINGTON POST ONLINE 01/18/2001; Page A01.

I've also read - albeit in fictional accounts - that most American hunts train the hounds to refrain from a kill. See, Rita Mae Brown's "Outfoxed." While acknowledging that Ms. Brown's books are fiction, I understand that she is a MFH in a Virginia hunt and presents an accurate portrayal of the sport in her books.

Maybe I am not getting the full picture here, i.e., perhaps the hounds will attack the prey unless the huntsman is on the spot to call them off?

Ann
Jan. 19, 2001, 02:01 PM
I don't think anyone's intent is simply to spoil your fun. You can still enjoy galloping around the countryside with a pack of hounds, as well as the social life associated with hunting, by simply leaving out the part where you frighten and kill a small animal. With drag hunting, you can have your fun and everyone will be happy.

I found the following on the pain and stress suffered by foxes in foxhunting at: http://www.foxbox.org/fact/caseagainst/index.html
The site has other research-supported information on this subject, as well.

"Janet George has argued that foxhunting is humane because the fox is either quickly caught or quickly escapes. In the only study that I am aware of on this subject, Kreeger (17) compared the physiological stress responses in foxes pursued for approximately 5 minutes by dogs and then killed (whether the foxes were killed by the dogs or shot is not specified), foxes caught for 2-8 hours in leghold (gin) traps, foxes caught in cage traps, and shot foxes.

Kreeger found that shot foxes showed no stress response. Foxes caught in cage traps showed far less stress than trapped or hound-pursued foxes. Foxes caught in leghold traps and foxes pursued by hounds showed equivalent responses to stress, even though the amount of time spent being pursued by hounds was far less than the amount of time spent in traps.

On autopsy, the foxes showed hemorrhage of heart and lungs and congestion of adrenal glands and kidneys. Blood work showed high levels of enzymes that reflect tissue damage, and edema, discoloration, hemorrhage and inflammation were found in muscle tissue. Kreeger found that the foxes had a condition called "exertional rhabdomyolysis", also called "capture myopathy"- a breakdown of muscle tissue caused by exertion that is often followed by brain damage, paralysis and death.

Kreeger's report was the first report of capture myopathy in a canid. The important implication of this for foxhunting is that capture myopathy is not apparent immediately, but develops after the stress of pursuit.Thus hunted foxes can appear normal but die after they escape.

Kreeger also found that the foxes he autopsied had a high incidence of pnemonitis, gastritis and hepatitis that, although not the direct result of stress, were precipitated by stress combined with pre-existing factors (such as parasite load.) Stress can also increase susceptability to disease. Red foxes seem especially prone to such stress (6). A hunted fox that is killed thus experiences significant stress before death.

If it escapes, it must then confront the possibility of heart and lung damage, capture myopathy, or lung, stomach or liver dysfunction. Thus, the argument that hunted foxes either are killed quickly or escape unharmed is invalid.This argument also ignores the significant stress caused to foxes by baiting them with terriers when they go to ground-a practice that claims about 50% of foxes killed by hunts (14)."

SLW
Jan. 19, 2001, 02:19 PM
As I mentioned, there are others who are FAR, FAR more knowledgeable about hounds and their training than I. I would be curious to learn how a pack would be trained to not kill it's prey were the prey cornered above ground? Anyone have knowledge about that? If the fox goes into it's den, the hunt is over. No hunt that I have been on sends terriers into the dens to flush out the fox. That may be a difference between American and British hunts, but it is just a guess on my part.

Heather brings up good points, thanks for sharing them. If the ban does become law there will be many hounds who are use to hunting and they will have to be "de-toxed". Unlike the greyhound, the foxhound does not always, there are exceptions, make the transition from field to couch easily. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Plus, they are LOUD canine neighbors to have. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Ann, glad to know that the fox which try to break into my hen house and boldy kill my hens is not stressed out when I shoot at them. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Does it work the same for the opossum and raccon which are frequent hen house visitors under the cover of darkness? Interesting study to say the least. Thanks for sharing.

pt2
Jan. 19, 2001, 03:02 PM
It just isn't a Disney world...

In countries such as the US and Britain, there are a LOT of people. The other large predators such as wolves, mountain lions and bear have been eliminated from large sections of the country. Prey animals such as deer have not, nor have small predators such as fox and raccoon. The prey animals continue to reproduce at the rate dictated by the naturally expected loss to predators, who don't exist year-round anymore. Someone quoted the great circle of life -- it's also known as the balance of nature, and it is out of whack.

In my state, there are over 600 deer-car collisions each year with serious injury and loss of life to humans and deer. I don't have any problem with hunting season when I can sit on my back porch and watch over 20 deer stroll through my neighbor's cornfield - especially since I'll have to dodge some of those deer the next morning on the way to work. I don't like beer-swilling jerks any better than the next person, but I've met those in all walks of life. Not all were hunters by a long shot. (No pun intended.)
My own shotgun stands next to the door against the next time the racket in the henhouse announces the invasion of a fox, raccoon, possum, feral cat or feral dog. We have all those here. If they go after my chickens, screw PETA, they're dead meat. If they're in my barn, ditto -- or don't you all worry about EPM and rabies? My dogs have killed all except deer. It was loud and bloody and guess what? the dogs got a lot of praise for doing their job.

If some of you live in circumstances that protect you from these realities, fine, but they exist and the folks from PETA mostly don't live with them and haven't a clue. Sorry, Hobson and others - I've worked for animal welfare based on true respect for animals most of my life, and eco-terrorists do NOT have my respect. Or did you miss the part about the ALF kidnapping beagles, bombing kennels and cracking police horses across the knees with poles? Nice concern for animals there.

As for the anti-hunting frenzy in Britain -- it doesn't sound like anything other than class warfare. Down with horsemen, wine-bibbers and readers of hardcover books. Up with soccer fans, beer-guzzlers and readers of cheap tabloids. OK - that's oversimplification and stereotyping, but you get the drift.

As for fussing about ALF in Britain - let's tend to our situation here. And maybe some who have contacts can prepare to rescue at least some of the fine foxhound, harrier and beagle packs as well as hunt terriers so that the excellent breeding programs of the past several hundred years will not be lost.

JMHO, of course.

Ann
Jan. 19, 2001, 03:22 PM
Moose, foxhunting is a sport. In fact, foxes were introduced into the Eastern part of the United States by European settlers for the express purpose of hunting them.

With all due respect to SLWarrior, the risk foxes pose to domestic livestock has been exaggerated (please see the full study at http://www.foxbox.org/fact/caseagainst/index.html#cite.
With adequate protective structures, chickens can be kept safe from them. Many farmers are in fact beginning to realize that foxes are an asset, because they prey on the rodents and rabbits that eat their crops. In any event, foxhunting is responsible for about 3% of fox deaths annually, and therefore plays no significant role in the culling of foxes.

Finally, as has been mentioned previously, more than 70% of the British public wants fox hunting banned (not drag-hunting), including 77% of people who live in rural areas. It seems to me, as I said before, there is a way for parties on both sides of this debate to be happy, and that is for fox hunters to do drag hunting.

pt2
Jan. 19, 2001, 03:40 PM
Whenever a poll is reported - as in this case, 70-85% of British oppose foxhunting, it's important to ask whether that is 70-85% of the people actually polled (which can be as little as 3% of the population.) Also, a poll can be taken of a small percentage of the population and the results computer-massaged to assume percentages of the entire population. Not always accurate. Or the poll can be skewed by the way the question is asked - happens frequently. This poll may have been objective, random and accurate, but under the circumstances, that seems doubtful.

Remember, there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

SLW
Jan. 19, 2001, 04:14 PM
I read the link you provided, thank you, however, the conclusion is the same for me. Fox, opossum and raccons do live and hunt in my rural area and all of the named have come through/over my 2 by 4 wire perimeter fence to get to my hen house. The federally protected Red Tailed Hawk is also an unwelcome intruder....

I do not raise sheep and am not aware of fox causing a problem during lambing season in eastern Kansas. However, my sheep friends have their ewes in barns during lambing, as did we when our dairy goats kidded a few years back.

I'm not sure how we got in this direction with the discussion but it is interesting. I remain opposed to a complete ban on hunting.

hobson
Jan. 19, 2001, 04:30 PM
Ann, I also appreciate the info.

SLWarrior, you have made some excellent points, but I don't get the impression we've started talking about a complete hunting ban. I think some of us on the board are uneasy about hunting in a way that might be unnecessary or needlessly brutal. Somtimes, hanging on to tradition for its own sake is not especially logical.

farmgate
Jan. 19, 2001, 04:44 PM
To anyone who loves the sport and hunts on a regular basis, drag hunting is an unacceptable alternative. It's like throwing a line into a goldfish bowl.

And the comment on stag hunting....have you yourself seen this "tragically pathetic sight"? For everyone who reads this and has never stag hunted, their mental image of such a thing is far worse than what is actual reality. This is the very same type of hype tactic used by the likes of PETA to shock the many non-hunters who are also animal lovers. For hounds to successfully run down a stag at all, it would have to be half dead to begin with.

How can people here form such strong opinions on a topic when all they know about it is what they've heard or read? I find that fact truly amazing in itself.

Thanks.....now I'VE vented.

Allyn M
Jan. 19, 2001, 05:27 PM
First let me say that I was a twice a week fox-hunter for many years and actively participated for 20 years ---- served as first whip in two different territories so I have watched up close and silently both the hunters and hunted ------ Most of the hunts west of Penn. are hunting coyote
not fox and that is because the coyote will sucessfully move fox out of their territory ---- Coyote will cover a much larger area and when the hunt moves out of the area they are allowed to use they have to stop ---- I have never seen a pack catch up with a coyote ---- they arent as smart as fox but they will go farther ----- Deer are the same --- they will run straight and fast and the pack even if it is running nose high will not be able to keep up ------ The fox is different ------ He stays in his own territory and will circle and do all manner of things to lay false trails ---- hard to believe,I know but I have personally seen a fox lay a trail up to the river and then take a big jump to a tree overhanging the bank and then go from there to another bank and another tree and then sit in that tree and watch the hounds hunt him ----- They got so confused they back tracked and he left after that ---- I just knew he was laughing to himself -------- I wrote a story about that fox for the Chronicle at the time and now his territory is row after row of apartment houses ------- At any rate in England they stop the dens so the fox has nowhere to go and does get killed ---- We don't do that here and most hunts don't have terriers to go into the dens to drive them out ---- Another thing about fox I almost forgot ----- they hunt by scent themselves and when the scenting is really bad they are out cavorting in front of everyone ------ when the morning dew is heavy and the scenting really hot they are nowhere to be seen ------

Ann
Jan. 19, 2001, 05:32 PM
Pt2, I guess the statistics I cited fall into the category of "damn lies?" Ah, well, I actually knew better than to post my opinion on the hunter-jumper forum, of all places, but for some reason felt compelled to "venture into the lion's den," anyway! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I grew up in the Virginia hunt country so I do sympathise with how deep-rooted ties can be to the sport of foxhunting. What could be more exhilarating than galloping across open countryside with horses and hounds?

I have no ulterior motives when it comes to my views, and I suspect most others don't either. I hope all the hunts in England will stay intact if a ban is actually enacted, with their full assortment of horses and dogs and members going out drag hunting. I've simply never been able to reconcile my conscience to accept the killing of the small victim at the heart of foxhunting. Sorry if that seems ridiculous to some of you, but I feel similar fun could be had without that being a part of it.

I know you blame PETA and other modern-day organisations for the fact there might be a ban on foxhunting in England. In truth, people have spoken out against it for over a hundred years---George Bernard Shaw being one example. Oscar Wilde called it the "unspeakable in full pursuit of the inedible" (don't get mad---I'm just quoting.) Albert Schweitzer said, "Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace." Perhaps as class barriers have broken down in recent times, people feel braver about expressing their opinions on topics like this.

Farmgate, please don't get mad, but I did have to smile when I read your following comment:

"How can people here form such strong opinions on a topic when all they know about it is what they've heard or read? I find that fact truly amazing in itself."

People do it all the time---you don't have to be a politician to form an opinion about politics, nor do you have to be a murderer to form an opinion on a murder case, and you don't have to be homeless or on welfare to form opinions about how we should deal with these types of social issues. Reading is one of the best ways we have to stay informed.

Also, I did want to say I went looking for information about foxhunting with an open mind---I wasn't specifically looking for anti-fox hunting information, but it seemed any available statistical or research data I found did not support it.

Anyway, peace. I really don't expect to change the majority opinion anytime soon on this board. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

farmgate
Jan. 19, 2001, 07:29 PM
I'll try to explain why some things are unexplainable by recalling a few lines from a popular film most of us have seen. Not word for word but:

"Not having stood there and looked up, do you really know the artist and thoroughly understand his work, if you've only read about him and seen pictures of the "painting" on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?
Can you tell me what it's like to be an orphan because you've read Oliver Twist?"

Some things can just not be understood by way of academicism.

hobson
Jan. 19, 2001, 08:53 PM
I don't recognize that quote, being a crank who dislikes most Hollywood films, and I'm not into anti-intellectualism - the explanation of "you just wouldn't understand" usually crops up when there is not sufficient supporting evidence for a particular position. It's condescending to assert that you can't form a legitimate opinion about art, being an orphan, or foxhunting unless you've communed with the soul of the artist, orphan or foxhunter.

I'd really like to hear, like the guy who did the fox study says, about non-anecdotal evidence that supports the utility of foxhunting. I'd also like to hear from actual foxhunters, as Moose requested. What's the biggest thrill of hunting? The kill? The chase? Going fast and jumping stuff on a horse? If you hunt fox because you believe they're pests, have you seen the population decline as a result of hunting? If you hunt to eradicate fox, why on horseback and not on foot with a gun? If you're a farmer, what kind of damage do fox do to your stock/chickens/etc?

brilyntrip
Jan. 19, 2001, 09:00 PM
Um first of all how many of you have actually been hunting when the hounds actually ran the fox to ground and had a kill I'd bet you none of you have seen it more than once.Why because it simply doesnt happen very often,healthy foxes don't get caught often .They do run big huge circles and confuse hounds all the time.Have any of you seen foxhounds on stag.There is no way they could run down a stag and kill it.This isn't simply about HUMANITY it is about class warfare .The PETA types lose all stature when they burn down places filled with animals injure horses etc .

jetsmom
Jan. 19, 2001, 09:00 PM
OK, I've got my flame-retardant suit on...After reading all of the posts, I have to say that I am against any hunting involving any animal being torn apart by dogs. I understand the necessity for culling large populations of animals to keep a balanced ratio, such as the problem of deer overpopulation, but feel that there are more humane ways to do it. Drag hunting sounds like a perfectly reasonable alternative. IMO, for someone to require dogs to shred an animal in order to have it be considered good sport, is just sick. Dogs understand a pat, praise and a dog treat...they don't require a live animal to pull apart to feel like they did a good job.

SLW
Jan. 19, 2001, 09:32 PM
Hunting will be different things to each rider and each hunt has it's own unique personality. What bridges the gaps between hunts are the hunting traditions of language, hounds, fellowship and turnout.

You inquired about the "thrill" of hunting. I don't know that I would use "thrill" but I enjoy the varied terrain hunting allows me access to ride on and it provides me with a "push" to get out ride in the winter when I would be tempted to kick back. I enjoy the company of meeting and riding with diverse people from all sorts of backgrounds and horse interest. Hunting does not discriminate based on the riders height, weight or hair, ditto the hunting horse. It crosses generational lines. I enjoy watching the hounds work and the houndsman working with them. I enjoy learning the ways and methods of his/her work. The devotion between the hounds and houndsman is unconditonal as it is with most of us who own canines. I enjoy a good run as much as I enjoy a long check on a brisk December day. I enjoy caring for my horse after a day of hunting as I tend to his needs in the stable. I accept that the fox or coyote COULD be caught but it rarely happens. Good hunting requires discipline, and cooporation, between horse and rider and the other members.

I accept that not everyone will agree with hunting but the reasons presented to ban hunting are not based on fox welfare. Were that the case, then we would create sanctuarys for them to protect them from the harm in the wild. Rather the anti-hunting ban is about discontented people, IMO: "Little by little the look of the country changes because of men we admire".

vineyridge
Jan. 20, 2001, 07:34 AM
For those of you who are interested, the British government commissioned a research study before the bill was proposed. It is called the Burns report, and it describes how hunting with dogs is Britain is conducted. The fact is that the fox is no more likely to be torn apart by dogs than a rat that is caught by dogs in your backyard. The hunt staff are armed with pistols, and when the fox bolts from the terrier or the stag goes to bay, it is humanely shot. That is stated as an absolute fact in the Burns report.

Anti hunting enthusiasts use the animal is torn apart by the hounds as propaganda against hunting.

You should note, as I have, that the ban allows hunting with hawks and trapping and poisoning and shooting. I would argue that even though the fox is stessed by hunting, death by these other methods is even more cruel. The ban is against hunting with dogs, not killing animals.

http://dmoz.org/Recreation/Outdoors/Hunting/Foxhunting

[This message was edited by Weatherford on Jan. 20, 2001 at 11:16 AM.]

Weatherford
Jan. 20, 2001, 08:23 AM
There are PLENTY of polls out there that say just the opposite of the one quoted above. It seems to depend on where the poll was taken - city or country (or WWW)!

Here is some more inf, for those interested:

Bill 10 Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Bill:
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/cgi-bin/betsie/parser.pl/0005/www.scottish
.parliament.uk/parl_bus/legis.html#10

Test of the bill for England/Wales:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
http://dmoz.org/Recreation/Outdoors/Hunting/Foxhunting
Click the UK Hunting Act 2001 and you can read the Bill, debate transcripts,and everything else "official" from Hansard's (official reporting body forParliament).

For those without access to the Internet, here is that part of the Bill:

EXCEPTIONS

Stalking and flushing out
7. - (1) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence underparagraph 1 to prove that-

(a) the conduct to which the charge relates consisted of stalking a fox, hare or rabbit, and
(b) the conditions in this paragraph were met.
(2) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph 1 to prove that-

(a) the conduct to which the charge relates consisted of flushing a fox, hare or rabbit out of cover, and
(b) the conditions in this paragraph were met.
(3) The first condition is that the stalking or flushing out was undertaken-

(a) for the purpose of protecting livestock, fowl (including wild fowl), game birds or crops,
(b) for the purpose of obtaining meat to be used for human or animal consumption without first being sold or otherwise dealt with in the way of trade, or
(c) for the purpose of enabling a bird of prey to hunt the mammal after it
was found or flushed out.
(4) The second condition is that the stalking or flushing out did not involve the use of a dog below ground.

(5) The third condition is-

(a) that reasonable steps were taken for the purpose of ensuring that as soon as possible after being found or flushed out the fox, hare or rabbit would be shot dead, and
(b) in particular, that any dog used in the stalking or flushing out was kept under sufficiently close control to ensure that it did not prevent or obstruct achievement of the objective mentioned in paragraph (a).
(6) The third condition does not apply to stalking or flushing out undertaken for the purpose mentioned in sub-paragraph (3)(c).

(7) The fourth condition is that the stalking or flushing out took place entirely on land-

(a) which belonged (within the meaning of paragraph 22) to the person doing the stalking or flushing out, or
(b) which he had been permitted to use for that purpose by someone to whom the land belonged (within the meaning of that paragraph).

Rodent control
8. - (1) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph 1 to prove that-

(a) the conduct to which the charge relates consisted of hunting rodents,
and
(b) the conditions in this paragraph were met.
(2) The first condition is that the hunting did not involve the use of a dog below ground.

(3) The second condition is that the hunting took place entirely on land-

(a) which belonged (within the meaning of paragraph 22) to the person doing the hunting, or
(b) which he had been permitted to use for that purpose by someone to whom the land belonged (within the meaning of that paragraph).

Retrieval of game
9. It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph 1 to prove that the conduct to which the charge relates consisted of retrieving a rabbit or hare which had been shot.

Recapturing animals
10. - (1) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph 1 to prove that-

(a) the conduct to which the charge relates consisted of searching for an animal which had escaped or been released from captivity or confinement, and
(b) the conditions in this paragraph were met.
(2) The first condition is that the search did not involve the use of a dog below ground.

(3) The second condition is-

(a) that reasonable steps were taken for the purpose of ensuring that as soon as possible after being found the animal would be recaptured or shot dead, and
(b) in particular, that any dog used in the search was kept under sufficiently close control to ensure that it did not prevent or obstruct achievement of the objective mentioned in paragraph (a).
(4) The third condition is that the animal-
(a) had not been released for the purpose of being hunted, and
(b) had not, for that purpose, been permitted to escape.

Rescuing animals
11. - (1) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph 1 to prove that-

(a) the conduct to which the charge relates consisted of searching for an animal which the accused believed was or might be seriously injured, and
(b) the conditions in this paragraph were met.
(2) The first condition is that the search did not involve the use of a dog below ground.

(3) The second condition is that the search was undertaken for the purpose of relieving the animal's suffering.

(4) The third condition is that-

(a) reasonable steps were taken for the purpose of ensuring that as soon as possible after the animal was found appropriate action (if any) would be taken to relieve any suffering, and
(b) in particular, that any dog used in the search was kept under sufficiently close control to ensure that it did not prevent or obstruct achievement of the objective mentioned in paragraph (a).

Multiple defences
12. It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under paragraph 1 to prove that the conduct to which the charge relates consisted entirely of activities in respect of each of which a defence under paragraphs 7 to 11 was available.

Power to alter defences
13. - (1) The Secretary of State may by order amend this Part of this Schedule so as to add, amend or remove a defence in respect of an offence under paragraph 1.

(2) An order under this paragraph-
(a) shall be made by statutory instrument,
(b) shall not be made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by
resolution of each House of Parliament,
(c) may make consequential amendments to this Schedule,
(d) may make transitional provision, and
(e) may make incidental provision (including provision conferring
jurisdiction on a court). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Another Link for England:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200001/cmbills/002/2001002.htm

Janet
Jan. 20, 2001, 12:46 PM
This is largely for Inverness wrt the nonsensical comment in the Wash Post about US hounds being "trained not to kill the fox."

NO, US hounds are NOT "trained not to kill the fox."

However US hunts are, in general, conducted in such a way as to REDUCE the chances that the fox will be killed.

In the US, it is not standard procedure to "stop" the earths.

In the US, if the fox "goes to ground" the hounds are usually called off. Either the hunt ends, or they cast for another fox.

In the UK, hunts, are, in general, conducted in a way to INCREASE the chance that the fox will be killed.

In the UK it is standard practice for hunt staff to go around before the hunt and physically block the entrances to all the known foxholes, to make it harder for the foxes to go to ground.

In the UK, if the fox does succeed in "going to ground", the hounds are not called off, but encouraged to try to dig out the fox. If the fox is too deep for the hounds to dig out, terriers (carried by hunt staff) are sent down the hole to either drive the fox out, or kill it themselves.

In most parts of the US, no one, other than the mounted fox hunters, makes an organized effort to kill foxes.

In parts of the UK there are active organized, shooting, gassing and trapping operations conducted against foxes. Whether these are "more humane" is open to discussion.

Weatherford
Jan. 20, 2001, 01:12 PM
Nick Onslow writes:
[quote]
This evening, sitting at this desk in just about as rural a part of Kent as you can get, one has had confirmed that which was already known. Nonetheless it leaves an awful feeling. This Bill will never become law, but still it leaves an awful feeling.

Those who govern this country have spent an evening demonstrating their prejudices and their spitefulness with a shocking pride. It is beyond tragedy that Members of Parliament can demonstrate such pride when shame should be rising like nausea in their souls.

They have made it clear that my way of life is not acceptable to them. They have confirmed that they intend to impose a culture in which people like myself do not belong.

They have trampled on an activity that contains within in it the values and codes that decent people hold dear. They have trampled the graves of the thousands who fought and died for them to have this freedom.

They have shown their intention to replace duty, honour, mannered behaviour and decency with hatred, spite and cynical expediency.

It leaves this lonely little voice croaking from a deep sadness but a heart and mind that are beginning to rage - beyond anger, beyond fury but with a savageness that will not rest until these shiftless, arrogant, self-important nobodies are trodden underfoot, buried gasping in the very mire that they are creating.

This small voice will not rest until this duty is fulfilled and decent Englishmen and women can once again be proud of their heritage - and this we will do!

Sorry folks just had to say it to someone before the bitterness takes its toll.

hobson
Jan. 20, 2001, 04:39 PM
If Nick Onslow's bizarre hyperbole is typical of the discourse of pro-hunting forces in the UK, then I am afraid these folks have brought this mess right down upon themselves.

"...a savageness that will not rest until these shiftless, arrogant, self-important nobodies [he means the anti-hunters] are trodden underfoot, buried gasping in the very mire that they are creating." Oh, come ON!

No wonder the working classes can't stand these people! I'd want to give this self-absorbed tory a spanking too if he said that to me.

vineyridge
Jan. 20, 2001, 04:48 PM
It is humanely shot by the hunt staffers, once it is cornered. The only difference this ban will make in the hunting of the quarry animals is that they will be stalked, headlighted, flushed and then shot, or they will be trapped, poisoned or gassed. I personally don't see why a predator, like the fox, who kills to live, should be protected from the same death it deals out to its prey.

The fox is a varmit, vermin, killer of chickens and lambs. It will be killed to prevent predation. There are an estimated 200,000 fox in England, so they are nowhere near extinction.

In the hill country, where it is too steep to ride horses, foxes are hunted on foot with dogs primarily to reduce predation on new born lambs. Without dogs, the hill farmers will have to find (stalk) the fox before they can kill it.

And I think that the chase, as practiced so the quarry has a fair chance of escape, is a lot more sporting than deer hunting from a stand over trails to baited fields, using special scents to attract the deer. There is nothing sporting about that at all. But I digress...

I've watched my dogs tear the guts out of an armadillo, and I've left them to it. They are dogs, and that is what dogs do. The dogs in question were weimaraners, who were created to be bear and boar dogs. In my opinion, my dogs were just doing what they have been bred for centuries to do, just as fox and deer hounds have been bred for centuries for the chase. The dogs are no more cruel than nature, and certainly no more cruel than human predators poisoning or snaring or trapping their quarry.

Only on rare occasions do the hounds make the kill; the quarry is shot.

SLW
Jan. 20, 2001, 06:41 PM
Your comments were meaningful, thanks for taking the time to share them.

As a yank watching the debate from this side of the pond my first reaction is "Gee, merry old England must be the place to reside if the gov't has put a review of foxhunting on the top 10 list of things to mend." Each school must be wired to the internet and the feshly painted hallways lead to rooms filled with new desk, text books are new, the students are all bathed, plump from groceries and dressed in crisp, clean frocks. Ditto the doting parents and the mum's who greet the tired offspring at the end of each school day with a plate of fresh baked sugar cookies and a glass of cold milk. The price of petrol is at giveaway prices and there is more work than there are workers.

Somehow, the AR groups got a foothold and an ear to move their anti-hunting agenda forward. Again, I do not believe this is at all about fox welfare. Your point of "bending" a little has merit, in my eyes.

I was on my second hunt at age 11, a Pony Club day at the hunt, and the fox was killed. Speaking only for myself, I was not horrified by the outcome or tradition which followed. In fact, I found the Ash Wednesday services at church much more alarming until old enough to understand the symbolism. (Drat, the Episcipal church of my youth always had poor church classes /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif )

I believe, as horsemen, we should look at this anti-hunting debate as a whole and not as though it is "just about the foxhunters". If we loose hunting all together, we have lost a brother, and the enemy WILL come after another family member. Will it be showjumping, dressage, driving??? I don't know who it will be, but it will happen. Again, as you said bending may be neccesary but we must be careful before allowing the hysterical, hand wringing, folks dictate what we will do.

PETA would have put my head on the stump today for what I did, too bad they were in D.C. today for Dubya's parade. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif A neighbor allows their two dogs to roam. They had spent most of the afternoon enjoying a course of fresh horse manure in my front pasture with my horses. They came down to my backyard fence to bark at my dogs and would not leave when I fussed at them. After an afternoon of this I turned the whippet out front to chase them off. Oh, the expression on the yellow lab's face was priceless when he realized that brindled canine was coming after him, and fast. It wasn't until my whippet flipped the Lab, by grabbng his legs as he ran up behind him, that the Lab got the message. I called back my whippet and he promptly curled up in front of the fireplace with the cats and terriers. That was nature, the sighthound saw his prey, flipped him and if he was a mean sort would have gone after his neck for a kill. As it is, the whippet would lick him to death before putting a fatal bite on his neck. Rabbits are different. We have never done hunting with him but it is his "nature" to sight and kill the creatures. He is not a criminal, in fact he is quite popular at the nursing home we visit, though PETA would have me think differently.

The hunter of ANY animal that thrives and hunts ONLY for the kill is not a person I am familiar with though I know they are out there. There is far more to any hunting sport than the kill, and the group which enjoys the whole of the experience is the group which I pledge my support to.

Policy of Truth
Jan. 21, 2001, 09:50 AM
I'm annoyed that you clump ALL people of a religion into one lump sum. Is it unreasonable for me to ask for you to be reasonable? I merely responded to your assertion that PETA and groups similar were good for the purpose of raising awareness...I was ARGUING that point because I disagree that terrorist organizations serve a positive purpose AT ALL! You made a blanket statement that credited them with the reason people don't abuse their animals...I happen to be a person, and therefore I was under the impression that I ought to correct that view with what I believed.

Believe it or not, Hobson, there are many of us who do NOT abuse animals. We USE our conscious, and we choose to not abuse animals! Some of us even want to not abuse animals because..agast! WE LOVE THEM!!! So PLEASE get off of your rhetorical soapbox and take the darn blinders off of your tunnel-vision glasses!

BTW, You also show your unwillingness to comprehend another view as in your response to Farmgates very reasonable and VERY self-explainatory answer to you. Just because you didn't understand it doesn't mean she wasn't correct.

hobson
Jan. 21, 2001, 12:58 PM
pacificsolo, I was being careful to not slam religion this time, though I am always sorely tempted. If you read my post again, you will see that I nail people who REFER to themselves as Christians, but then act very uncharitably. You made a similar allusion in your post referring to abortion clinic bombers. Lots of anti-abortion terrorists would be offended if you told them they weren't Christian, don't you think? My remark was saying, "Yeah, pacificsolo, isn't it too bad that more people don't act on their purported beliefs." It was a moment of agreement between us, man! They come so rarely, so enjoy it!

I read your argument as this: I'm nice to animals. Many other people are nice to animals. Therefore, nobody needs a reminder to be nice to animals. That's a non-sequitur.

For lots of people, kindness to animals does NOT come from within themselves, and it takes social pressure to make them conform. I'm saying that the animal rights folks-love them or hate them-- force the issue into the open. As I've said oh so many times, PETA does this in a self-destructive way, but they DO make people look at the issue.

It's sort of how the mainstream environmental organizations benefit in terms of PR from Greenpeace's hijinx. The Nature Conservancy rarely makes the news for whatever uncontroversial efforts they make, but Greenpeace FORCED people all over the world to look at, for instance, the issue of whaling. A LOT of people fervently disagreed with their tactics, but now we have whaling treaties. (That Japan and Norway ignore them is a different issue). Similarly, the anti-abortion forces (you mentioned it first!) that are just standing around holding signs in front of clinics look better and better every time a nutcase kills a physician.

Anyway, I'll remain on my soapbox, thank you. I"m still waiting for a coherent argument about why hunting to kill fox benefits the land and its various residents. SOmeone has presented evidence that foxhunting either increases fox populations or leaves them the same. I'd like to hear decent evidence from the other side. Why do you think this is unreasonable?

hobson
Jan. 21, 2001, 01:56 PM
I had to pause in my already too-long post to get to work, so I want to return and think aloud a little more.

I think that one of the reasons hunting in the UK is in trouble is because, when you boil it all down, the bare-bones reason for the activity does not afford them enough protection from controversy.

The "But it's TRADITION" argument holds no water, as tradition-in-itself has no inherently positive value. In certain populations of India, it's a time-honored tradition to chuck a widow onto her husband's funeral pyre to burn along with him. That's a nasty tradition in my opinion. Tradition is not necessarily something to hang onto. It's value depends in great part upon its context of time and place.

The other argument I hear has to do with the utility of foxhunting with hounds. The claim is that the practice helpfully reduces the numbers of a significant pest. I forget who it was who posted it, but someone else put up the research finding that fox are not a significant pest, and the hunting them does not appreciably reduce their numbers. If this research can be corroborated, then it robs the hunters of the "it may not be pretty (that is, the part where the fox is killed), but it's necessary" position. It follows that one would ask the pro-hunters to present their evidence to the contrary, and nobody has.

A particularly weak argument made to preserve hunting is that if it is banned, thousands of horses and hounds will be slaughtered because they are suddenly obsolete. As someone already said, that's the worst PR I've heard for hunting yet. It paints the hunters as a heartless bunch who only care for their animals as long as said animals can provide them with a specific service.

That leaves the argument that, plain and simple, hunting is FUN. To coherently defend hunting, you have to be brave enough to say that you enjoy the chase and the kill and all the collegiality and activity that surrounds it. I THINK THIS IS A PERFECTLY VALID ARGUMENT! But when your whole defense (as I see it, anyway) comes down to the fun factor, you need to be prepared when others see you as an easy target. ESPECIALLY in a place like Britian, where class tension runs high, where hunting (right, wrong, or in between) is associated with the upper classes, and the upper classes hold on tight to their privileges.

The difficulty with the fun argument is that it naturally leads to the counter-argument of "why not drag hunting?" and then you have to defend the fun of running down an actual animal, and that's where the non-hunting public gets queasy.

As a few asides:

Hunting is not the only horse sport under fire. Steeplechasing in Britian is also being opposed by activists, as is eventing. In Germany, there has never been much of a strong eventing tradition, but it's becoming ever more difficult to find an event, in part because of animal rights pressure.

To defend my theory that PETA and their ilk play a role in forcing important issues into public view, I must point out that it has been mentioned more than once on this BB that, in light of animal rights pressures, what will the horse-show industry do to improve its public image? Whether we like them or not, these activists have already succeeded in altering this sport and making it react, even if slightly.

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2001, 02:20 PM
Since before recorded history mankind has used sport to define itself. The hunt the chase, the race and chasing little white balls which you hit with a bat, a club, a racket or kick.

So even if it does not effect the balance of nature between the fox and the hen house it is part of our nature to games. I think computer games which desensitize our children locked in their private bedrooms as being more destructive.

Is there something wrong with sport? I personally find the general passtime of ball playing offensive and a waste which has added to the dumbing of America as people become spectators instead of participants. I also believe that team sports are the initial cause of violence just look at hockey.

Therefore, do I have the right to organize and attack those who disagree? Is it not part of civilization to be tolerant of the needs and therapy choices of others? There is little social activity in which people participate that does not have some violent and unfortunate after effect.

We can condemn eating as easily as we condemn hunting and many esoteric purists believe that we do not have the right to destroy the wilderness by building farms. That wilderness is the native habitat of many creatures who deserve to be saved and cultivated. They would prefer we live on wild berries, or perhaps the famous "replicator" from our scuence fiction.

Don't you see extremism in any context as the real danger to our civilization? I am not a hunter and I would not participate, I think the ceremony of blooding is pathetic but I will defend the right of those who find that as a preference in a free world.

I am really tired of an overwhelming government that wants to decide for me what is good, what is healthy, what is right and what is acceptable. If my choice is between that and some activity which by your statement is quite harmless and does not injure the balance of nature but disguises sport with a mantel of purpose, I will always pick on the side of free choice for free people to live or die their own way.

How do you know if those who prefer hunting would not then take out their base drive in some other more distructive way. For example smokers! Nicotine has been proved to be valuable for those who are paranoid schisophrenics. It keeps their dementia under control. Perhaps, this none smoking environment is the reason we have so much insanity with people having road rage, office rage and unable to cope with their life.

hobson
Jan. 21, 2001, 03:20 PM
Oh, dear, Snowbird! Are you saying that if we don't let the hunters hunt, they'll become arsonists or something?!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Seriously, though, I'm glad that you're ready to say, "hey, it's fun, and there's nothing wrong with that!"

Where we probably disagree is in whether sports that result in cruelty should be challenged. I don't give a crap about most sports, since hockey players, for example, willingly participate in their injuries. I oppose leg-hold traps, though, because they're brutal, and unnecessarily so. The "right" to enjoyment in this case is no excuse for needlessly torturing an animal.

The research results that claim being hunted by hounds is a highly stressful experience for a fox is thought-provoking for me, and that's why I am willing to listen to what the anti-hunting side has to say.

I think what some people call extremism is just another person's radicalism. I highly doubt that had African Americans politely asked for their civil rights, they would have been handed over just as nicely. Without that wrenching change forced on society by people who were indeed considered "extremists," they would probably still be holding lynchings (surely that's a pastime you would not have condoned) in the south today. (well, they still try to anyway, in Texas)

By the way, my father-in-law hunts fox in Germany - on foot with a gun. Fox are considered competitors for hare, a commonly hunted (by people) and eaten beast. I find the whole thing distasteful - they not only shoot whatever adult fox wander past their hunting stand, but they also dig up the burrows and shoot all the cubs - but at least the animals are not subjected to a long pursuit and possibly messy death. I wish he wouldn't do it, just because I think it's unsporting, but I can't really mount a cruelty argument.

NickOnslow
Jan. 21, 2001, 04:04 PM
Hobson has misunderstood the quoted post and made gross presumptions about its author. The vote was not on party lines and the attack, admittedly vitriolic, was therefore not against the Labour Party per se but rather a response to the vote by those who choose prejudice not reason.
If the case was overwhelming, if any of those people who have tried to persuade me not to hunt by assaulting me, insulting me, threatening my wife and family, damaging my property had suceeded with an overwhelming argument instead then this Englishman would give up the chase. They do not have a substantial argument but an opinion that deserves respect. Howevere it is not the job of government to legislate as a way of deciding issues of opinion. Those who govern and believe that government is the business of arbitrating opinion and particularly those who9 do so in an uninformed way deserve to be vilified.

This is written, not by a Tory but someone who has spent their life working for the preservation of the rural community and the conservation of nature.

Nick

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2001, 04:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Howevere it is not the job of government to legislate as a way of deciding issues of opinion. Those who govern and believe that government is the business of arbitrating opinion and particularly those who9 do so in an uninformed way deserve to be vilified.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

My point exactly. Thank you.

farmgate
Jan. 21, 2001, 04:17 PM
What we disagree on are many things, only one being the definition of cruelty.

I'm assuming you own a horse or you wouldn't be here. If so then please explain the "utility" [your term] in your ownership. A PETA extremist finds this ownership of a living thing unnatural and unnecessary. He sees this extended form of torture with its manipulated life style and unnatural performance enhancing techniques as a greater evil than the "cruel" sudden death of the fox.

Because certain worthy issues have had attention drawn to them by organized activists, it doesn't automatically mean all issues that are targeted are so.

If research results are thought provoking for you, then consider the number of actual kills compared to days hunted. When you discover THAT figure, you may find your views of the evils of foxhunting are without merit.

Ann
Jan. 21, 2001, 05:14 PM
I had no intention of saying more on this subject, but Hobson seems rather outnumbered, so I'm back.

First I'd like to say that I have been involved with horses my entire life. I started riding hunter-jumpers during childhood in Virginia, and currently ride dressage and give financial support to my niece's hunter-jumper activities. I have fond memories of riding in Virginia, and did have friends who foxhunted, and did not then and do not now think they are depraved or evil. I think they simply never thought too much about the fox's experience in the equation. I don't believe I gave it too much thought myself, until, as an undergraduate in college,I read an essay on the subject by George Bernard Shaw.

Someone raised the point that foxhunting is a "brother" horseback riding sport, and if we bend when it comes to this, then all other riding sports will be placed in jeopardy. I vehemently disagree with this notion. There is a clear distinction between foxhunting and all the other riding sports mentioned such as eventing, dressage, showing, polo, etc. The other horse sports do no harm to others. The objective of foxhunting, on the other hand, is to pursue and kill an animal for the sheer fun of it!

And why the fox, in particular? Is the fox targeted because it is such an incredibly destructive creature? Have the nobility gone foxhunting through the centuries because they are concerned with lending assistance to the farmers whose chickens are killed by foxes?

Of course not. The fox is the perfect worthy opponent. Would you want an animal that was easy to catch? What fun would that be, putting all that preparation into pursuing an animal that was easily captured? Do you want a larger predatory animal, that could possibly fight back and injure your hounds? Of course not. The fox is the ideal animal for the hunt because it is clever enough to lead a party of hounds and riders on a challenging and entertaining chase for hours and is no threat to anyone when it comes time to kill it.

To claim that foxhunting is viewed on the same level as other riding sports is to use the same fear tactics that animal rights organizations are accused of using. Yes, there will always be extremists that think it's cruel to keep animals (horses, dogs, cats, etc.) as pets at all, but when you consider the overwhelming number of pet owners worldwide, realistically how much of a threat can these people be?

The controversy over eventing came about as a result of the unusually high number of horse and rider deaths in 1999-2000. This is a different issue entirely---the obstacles and time requirements at the upper levels have gotten to a point where they clearly cause risk to horse and rider, so people understandably become concerned. I believe only a small minority would advocate doing away with eventing altogether; I simply hear people suggesting that event planners should be more liberal with the time and build the obstacles so they are not so solid.

Someone else mentioned that the dogs don't get the fox, but they do in the U.K.! I certainly hope it is different in the U.S., as has been said. I refrained from posting any photos of foxes that died in a foxhunting before---I did not want to be accused of being overly sensationalistic, and felt if people didn't WANT to believe it, they would simply get angry and reject the authenticity of the photos. Anyway, I'm posting a link to a web page with a photo of a hunted fox that activists attempted to rescue.

Please don't look at it if you are inclined to think it's not real, or if you'll get upset. I found it on the the National Fox Welfare website, which rescues and rehabilitates foxes from a wide variety of situations; they are a humane, and not a radical organization. If you look through the site you can see they genuinely have a great fondness for foxes. Rescuing foxes from foxhunts is just one small part of what they do, and the page I found was not even on a particularly prominent section of their web site. In an earlier post, someone mentioned being raised in an environment where certain types of animals were killed without a second thought. I can appreciate that, and ask those of you who are in that category to respect the fact that there ARE people out there who actually do care for foxes and are disturbed by what happens to them when hunted.

http://www.nfws.org.uk/sabs1.htm

I'll conclude with what's becoming my standard disclaimer---I do not want to see the tradition of foxhunting come to an end. I would simply like to see it replaced by drag-hunting.

hobson
Jan. 21, 2001, 05:26 PM
farmgate,

If you are attempting to portray me as a PETA hypocrite for my horse ownership, I'm not sure why, as I have disclaimed half a dozen times that I am neither a member nor a supporter. In one of my recent posts, I said in all capitals that the defense of hunting because it's fun is a perfectly valid one.

I'm trying to hear both sides of the argument. I don't remember having at any point depicted foxhunting as "evil." I've admitted my dislike of it, but I think you're stretching to consider me an anti-hunting fanatic. The research about the stress experienced by hunted fox is new to me, and I'm interested in bringing it to the debate. Who knows if the research is even legitimate - it would certainly be interesting to see another study for comparison. Scientifically-gathered data is not really useful unless is it proven to be replicable.

The point that I keep trying to make, obviously unsuccessfully, is this:

1. Certain sectors of the general public view hunting as an elitist, cruel, and unneccesary sport.

2. If this perception is wrong, then what evidence do the hunt supporters present in their defense? Further, if the principal defense is that "the goverment should just leave us alone," why expect anyone to take that seriously?

3. If the perception is correct, then why is anyone surprised or upset that there are people who oppose it?

4. If the perception is correct, then why would anyone defend it?

5. If the perception is correct, then other competitive equestrian disciplines ought to pay attention and start to articulate whether their sport is or is not elitist, cruel, and pointless, and why.


Personally, I'm on the fence as to how I feel about this issue, and trying to make up my mind. My complaints about foxhunting supporters are that the arguments in their defense that I've seen here are neither well-constructed nor convincing. I'm not even a logician, and I can easily dismantle them.

On the other side, there are irrational animal rights actions, but also a pretty thoroughly presented (though unreplicated) set of data that suggests being hunted by hounds is a cruel and nasty experience for the fox, as well as a useless practice when it purports to reduce the fox population.

farmgate
Jan. 21, 2001, 05:54 PM
No, please reread my post. I'm not trying to portray you as anything.

Elitist? Do we hate elitism?

An unnecessary sport? Do we hate things which are unnecessary?

Cruel? What part of this is proven to qualify as cruelty?

Like you say, perception. That's the thing.

"People believe two things, what they read and what they want to."

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2001, 06:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>1. Certain sectors of the general public view hunting as an elitist, cruel, and unneccesary sport.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

What someone else has as their conviction or belief or preference is not relative. A government is not the keeper of anything by law and order. No democratic govenment of free people has the right to make laws that infringe on the beliefs of other people. While we have our own little fox family here on the farm, I will still defend the right of people to think differently than I do.

I am equally offended by the behavior of parents at a team sport event. That does not give me the right to do more than make that statement. The government should it agree with me does not have the right to prevent them from doing or behaving in their own ways.

When you give up any freedom of opinion it is the first step to losing it all.

I am not a vegetarian and I will not object to people who are. I may believe that vegetables are creatures with feelings that are being abused but I will not attack the vegetarian. I do not like games, but I would not vote to outlaw games. I will not encourage censorship but that does not mean that I approve or would watch some of the shows that I personally find obscene.

If you like me do not want to hunt, that's fine don't do it. It is not mandated for all citizens to participate. If it were then I would oppose the law and not the sport.

Robbierox
Jan. 21, 2001, 06:31 PM
Vineridge. The news reports that actually followed a hunt and showed complete footage showed the huntsman clearly stating that the dogs rip the fox to pieces. I am sorry, I am not involved, nor do I condone Peta, but surely there is a more humane way of killing the poor fox, if he is disruptive to farm life? What in heaven's name is wrong with a "drag hunt", why do they have to let a pack of dog's rip the fox to bits? We live in an area with a fair number of foxes, and it's the coyote's that we have more problems with! But surely, there must be a compromise here somewhere?

hobson
Jan. 21, 2001, 06:34 PM
thanks! It's getting lonely out here in devils-advocate-land.

SLW
Jan. 21, 2001, 06:43 PM
Dogs or coyote kill by breaking the neck and sometimes shaking the prey from side to side. The tearing of the carcass occurs afterward when the adult pulls meat for itself, if it is alpha or for the young if it is a mother feeding young.

Farmgate, thank you, well said.

Moose- the whippet would melt before he would chase a husky!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

hobson
Jan. 21, 2001, 07:01 PM
we're talking about banning an action, not a belief. Nobody wants to outlaw the OPINION that hunting with hounds is OK.

Your equation of "I don't believe in X but I wouldn't vote to ban X" just doesn't hold up if you play fill-in-the-blank with other controversial ACTIONS. Here's what you get with this kind of policy:

"I don't believe in the welfare state but I wouldn't vote to ban it."

"I don't believe in drugging horses for showing but I wouldn't vote to ban it."

"I don't believe in abortion but I wouldn't vote to ban it."

People oppose these things and others, they try to ban them, and it's part of living on a planet with a lot of other people. Wishing that we could all live in individual coccoons untouched by others is one thing, but acting as though it were reality is impractical. We share space with others, and not everybody likes what their neighbors do - hunters need to deal with that reality, because to ignore it is to dig one's own grave.

Robbierox
Jan. 21, 2001, 07:12 PM
I used to live in an area in the city that had five fox dens in a park. These foxes were hilarious! There is a stable in the park and they would come and sit next to the fence where I was teaching and peek through the lower rungs. The pups would pop into the ring and then as soon as the horses would get close they would jump back over to the over side! It went on and on! It was quite a game. And one fox would come to our door and "caw" for our dog to come out around 11 pm when the park was quite and everyone had gone home! We would let her out and the fox and our dog would race around the park in a merry chase. Our dog would never have DREAMED of actually catching or touching the fox. The fox would come to the door regularly so we think he really liked to have fun with our dog! After the run they would sit on opposite sides of the paddock, about 50' apart. Then the fox would sashay over to the dog's "side". The dog would race after the fox until it was back on its side of the paddock once again. They would do this back and forth until both their tongues would hang out and then they would just lie there and look at each other. My husband and I would sit there under the tree and just laugh at how cute and silly they were.
Often, I would be teaching and someone would clear their throat and say "look beside you" and there would be a cheeky fox on the other side of the jump, 12' away! Watching me and the class! LOL!
There was another fox, a big red male that loved to jump up into the window of the arena and watch us ride around the indoor! Our friend was riding one night and this happened. She said he just sat there..then he suddenly jumped into the arena and came over into the middle. She was quite nervous at first. The fox started wagging his tail and crouching down in front and scooted from side to side. It was like he was saying to her horse...let's play! She phoned us to say come down and see, but he left out the window as soon as he saw us!!! She was amazed at his cheekiness. She never once felt threatened in any way by the fox. She just didn't want her horse to spook at him! I remember watching the pups grow and wondering what would happen to them. Several times we saw them on the road, hit by cars in the park. It really saddened me. I guess to me they are not just vermin...I think I may have had a bit of a more personal relationship with them than most. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Policy of Truth
Jan. 21, 2001, 08:08 PM
That was such a great story! I could just envision everything you said, and I'd love to hear more "tails"..pardon the awful pun!

Although I am not sure how I feel about fox hunting from experience, I think I would enjoy the excitement. But...I really struggle about the kill. I know dogs are natural hunters. I also love animals, and ever since I got my first cat over 20 years ago, I have had the opportunity to care for injured creatures. My mom taught me something important through those experiences, which was that it was natural for my beloved cat to kill.

I have been invited on two really nice hunts, and to be honest, everything in me says "WOW!! Of course I'll go galloping and jumping in the woods and fields!"....but another part is scared of what I might feel if the fox were killed.

I'm still thinking about it...but your story really made me think....

Thank you for sharing...and welcome to COTH BB!

Robbierox
Jan. 21, 2001, 08:34 PM
Pacificsolo. Thanks. The "tails" are true. Truth is often stranger than fiction! LOL! I am NO animal activist and don't have any problems scarfing down a nice steak but I must admit when I heard that huntsman say that "the hounds rip the fox apart, but it is over fairly quick" I was not a happy camper. I think a drag hunt could be just as fun since most people go for the social aspect and the riding and jumping don't you think?

Ann
Jan. 21, 2001, 08:39 PM
Robbierox, I also enjoyed your story about the foxes. Around where I live, there are wide expanses of protected open space, and sometimes we're lucky enough to see foxes out here. Once while walking my dog along a trail, a lady ahead of me pointed and there, a short distance away, was a mother fox with several precious little babies playing around her. Fox kits are unbelievably cute. I work in the city and it's a pleasure to come home and have the opportunity to walk or ride in the open spaces and see wildlife, and my neighbors feel the same way. But then, California is one of the only states in which foxes are a protected wildlife species.

I also wanted to add, in response to the argument that the government has no right to interfere with foxhunting, that it could do so for the same reason that it has banned bullbaiting and cockfighting.

Snowbird
Jan. 21, 2001, 10:00 PM
Between torturing animals for an entertainment or for gambling and money rather than sport. One of the big differences is an audience that pays for tickets. Without the admission they wouldn't do it would they?

You can't compare apples and potatoes. Even bull fighting has it's values and purposes in spite of what is an inevitable terminal activity. There is an audience but supposedly the audience benefits from the kill because the town all enjoy the kill.

My point is that there are many beliefs and activities all over the world which are not compatible with our ideas. We do not have to participate or support the activity but do we really have the right to stop other people from doing what they believe is right.

Yes, I love my little fox family, and I love dogs. Now it is possible that one of my beloved dogs would maime a pretty little fawn. And they have brought home someone's goose as a reward to me.
So shall we ban dogs? Shall we kill dogs who have made a kill? It happens that the foxes and the dogs are doing great together, but they never did want to cope with the chickens so I got rid of the chickens which also is why I can get along with the foxes.

My point is this is not a matter of law. This should not require permission it is a citizens perogative for a part of the society to enjoy what is a sport. There is no right for the majority to impose it's will on the minority.

I personally would like to see dog shows banned. I think that is cruel and unusual punishment for the poor dogs who are never allowed to be natural. The Taco Bell ads were probably responsible for more poor little chiwawas dying and being tortured by children then they sold Tacos. OH! yes we had better ban children too. They can be very nasty little monsters can't they? Yep! let's do like they do in China one one child to a family. That's it anything the majority doesn't approve of, let's get it banned.

Where does Big Brother get to stop if we don't stop it here? How far behind will the man from Glad be giving our houses the white glove check to see if we are all clean enough. I mean dirty houses endanger the whole community. There was a man arrested for killing a rat in his house. I guess he should have given the rat dinner.

[This message was edited by Snowbird on Jan. 22, 2001 at 01:06 AM.]

Weatherford
Jan. 22, 2001, 04:14 AM
From today's Telegraph

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Anti-hunt gang assaults couple in their home

By Charles Clover, Environment Editor

MASKED hunt saboteurs burst into the home of a 24-year-old hunt groom and her boyfriend, assaulting them and other hunt supporters, it was claimed yesterday.

First they knocked down the joint master of the Oakley hunt, Charlotte Wilson Smith, at Melchbourne, near Bedford. Then they barged into the home of Jane Hedge and Mark Higgins, 19.

Hunt supporters said the incident began when at least 10 masked saboteurs verbally abused staff at a livery yard where a hunt meet had been cancelled on Saturday afternoon. They broke equipment at a shoot, then clambered over gates at the hunt kennels.

Miss Wilson Smith and Jed Bellamy, the wife of the huntsman, challenged them. As Miss Wilson Smith grabbed their video camera, the leading protester knocked her down and others burst into Miss Hedge's home, breaking the lock and pushing Mr Higgins over as he tried to stop them.

Miss Wilson Smith said: "I saw four antis coming out of the kennels. I said, 'This is private property. You are not allowed to be filming in the kennels, though we have nothing to hide.' They kept coming towards me, so I grabbed their camera and ran. Before I got to the house, the main anti jumped on me as I was on the ground and got the camera back. They just stormed into Jane's house."

Miss Hedge said: "These people in balaclavas, camouflage and big boots came into our house and assaulted us. We were sitting tight, waiting for the police to arrive. We were told not to provoke them into violence. We were looking out and Charlotte was pinned on the ground.

"The door burst open, Mark ended up on his back and men charged into the hallway shouting. I challenged them and the man in front went to go into my bedroom. He pushed me down and he went to take a swing at me, but a hunt supporter pulled him out of the door. I thought they were terrorists or something.

"I had seen antis before and had heard of the balaclava squad, but I had never known them to come into anyone's home. I was lucky so many hunt supporters were within easy reach. If it wasn't for the hunt supporters, I think it would have gone a lot further. The police response time to our 999 call was 35 minutes."

Bedfordshire police said they arrived exactly 20 minutes after receiving the 999 call and took details from hunt saboteurs. About 20 hunt supporters had blocked the protesters' Land Rover and a white van until police got there.

Miss Wilson Smith, who had bruises on her wrists and arms, said she would not be pressing charges. Miss Hedge said she would be pressing charges for assault and entry to her home.

Dawn Preston, of the Hunt Saboteurs Association, claimed that the saboteurs had been attacked. She said: "They will be taking their footage to the police." The incident follows the bombing of two cars belonging to the father of a supporter of the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent hunt. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

SLW
Jan. 22, 2001, 06:26 AM
"About 20 hunt supporters had blocked the protesters' Land Rover and a white van until police got there."

Seems if the anti's were TRUELY concerned about land use, and therefore indirectly fox welfare, they would drive KIA?s and GEO Metros and not these gas-guzzling vehicles. For the radical protesters it is all about class envy in England and not fox welfare.

Foxey
Jan. 22, 2001, 07:35 AM
I have been following the debate in GB on British websites for some time. There is sincerity on both sides of the issue. Yet, nothing I have read has convinced me that killing foxes through shredding them by dogs serves any productive purpose. Cubbing of young animals is particularly repugnant. The hunts would be equally enjoyable for riders if done by drags.

I am glad it will be banned. It is a cruel "sport" when done with live animals.

Magnolia
Jan. 22, 2001, 07:55 AM
I think Snowbird hit it on the head. We may not approve of things, but we don't necessarily have the right to stop others from doing said actions. The first ban might be foxhunting, or deer hunting. Why? it's cruel to animals. OK, then how about a ban on cheap meat? Non-organic eggs? Non organic dairy? Why? It's cruel to animals. Hey, lets ban hog farms. It's cruel to animals. It kind of snowballs from there. Unless you are a vegan, you really have no right to call foxhunting cruel, because that pig you ate for lunch, or the chicken that laid that egg for you suffered a far crueler life than any fox ever did.
I think it would be great if another animal never died in the pursuit of human pleasure (includes dinner!), but even then, dogs would kill foxes, cats would eat mice, and owls would eat rats.
As an aside, can you believe I have 3 cats, one dog, and we have MICE in our house! I have never seen one of those lazy creatures catch or go after a mouse! UGH, they must be PETA members! /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Ann
Jan. 22, 2001, 10:09 AM
Ah, Snowbird, you prove my point exactly with your use of bullfighting as an example! That is another bloodsport, along with bullbaiting and cockfighting, that is illegal in the U.S. and the U.K.!

In Mexico, they have a rodeo event called "Piales en El Lienzo," in which the the charro (on horseback ), ropes a horse's legs as it passes by at a full gallop. They are given three chances to succeed. I have contributed towards the purchase of two such horses that were sent to an equine sanctuary. I can tell you, those horses were not happy campers, and had quite a fear of humans. Events like that aren't legal in the U.S. or the U.K. either.

Once I saw a videotape on Animal Planet in which these hunters had purchased this very tame panther that had spent his life as a declawed, defanged exhibit at some roadside stand. They took him out of the back of their truck, released him and the panther didn't even run away. He just lay there as the hounds attacked him and tore him to pieces. Afterwards the hunters laughed and clapped each other on the back like this had been "really good sport." That is illegal, too, and those hunters were prosecuted.

There are many precedents I can cite in which the killing or injury of animals merely for entertainment value has been banned, so I don't think foxhunters should feel they're being unduly singled out. Some of these methods of harming animals for the sake of entertainment have no substitute; when the entertainment is banned, so goes the sport. But in the case of foxhunting, there is a viable substitute, and I'm not convinced that ingenious drag hunting methods can't be devised that will make a bloodless hunt just as fun as the real thing.

HeyYouNags
Jan. 22, 2001, 10:53 AM
Sorry, but here's a sometimes fox chaser who sides more with the "anti's"....

I have participated many times in East Coast fox chasing (and will again, when the weather's a little better). It's not my favorite equestrian pasttime, but it can be fun. However, if I expected killing to be part of it, I would definitely quit. As it is, we rarely even view (and to tell you the truth, even viewing shakes me up. I root for the fox.)

What is enjoyable about fox chasing is (as someone else stated), it gets me out riding at a time of year when I ordinarily wouldn't. We get to ride across beautiful open country that we wouldn't otherwise have access to. There is a random and unpredictable nature to the gallops and checks, as opposed to a set route for a trail ride. It forces me to be more courageous than I'm inclined to be. And my mare certainly loves it.

I know I'm not the only rider who would be perfectly happy (even happier) with drag hunting. Heck, if the scenting is bad, we hardly get out of a walk. At least with a drag hunt, you'd be sure to get some exercise! The positive aspects are about riding and companionship, not about pursuing and killing.

No one so far has said they enjoy the kill. Everyone couches it as part of nature, etc. So if no one enjoys the kill, then for goodness sake, show a little creativity and find a way to separate the riding part of the sport from the killing.

I have never stag hunted, but have heard graphic stories from folks who did, in France. It sounded absolutely hideous - stag chased all day, until it was brought down in a state of exhaustion. Changes of horses for hunt staff, since the chase went on all day. And this was as described by people who actually enjoyed it, not by PETA members!

Hmm, sorry this post is rambling. Turgid prose would be so much better.

doubleclearjumper
Jan. 22, 2001, 01:04 PM
Oakley is close by us, and I have not heard this story, not even in the local paper. Will wait to see if it is reported locally. By the way,I wasjogging one day not far from home when the local beagle pack came towards me with escorts. Well, you can imagine being surrounded by them in their midst! The virtually knocked me almost off my feet -- I would not like to think of being on the ground with them! Their two keepers merely laughed at me. Any other dog in Britain must be leashed, and some breeds, if not muzzled in public, risk being confiscated and put to sleep (the Dangerous Dogs' Act), but beagles in packs are not discriminated in this matter. What if I'd been a child on a bicycle? I realize this is the responsibility of the handler, but dogs are not always predictable. But I have no gripe against hounds, I think they can be employed effectively to a day's outing on horseback through drag hunts.

pt2
Jan. 22, 2001, 02:23 PM
I'm bemused by the apparent tendency to disapprove hunting because it is fun. No-one has objected to killing foxes as a part of wildlife management, so do we presume that it's OK to go out grimly with dog and gun to walk down foxes, but not to make a day of it with friends and horses? Why, oh why, are the forces which consider themselves of higher purpose so often so completely dreary? Shades of Cotton Mather and the boys!

Ann - you make reference to "someone raised in an environment where certain animals are killed without a second thought." I believe you are referring to my earlier post. The interesting thing is, I was raised in a suburb and moved to the country full of starry-eyed idealism about living in a peacable kingdom. That lasted until (1) I looked at the carnage a fox made of my henhouse; (2) my neighbour had to destroy his beloved horse because it was bitten by a skunk and came down with rabies and (3) I helped same neighbour clean up a pasture full of dead lambs killed by coyotes or feral dogs - we didn't know which. So yes, I will kill certain animals which threaten those animals for which I have taken primary responsibility. I don't enjoy it, but I don't hesitate when necessary either. As far as sport is concerned, I do enjoy watching bird dogs and hounds work, and I respect my neighbor's son who logged a Boone & Crockett- even though the end is not as bloodless as the vestiges of my mediated upbringing would prefer. And I don't hesitate to eat the pheasant or the deer or the fish.

Hobson - You say "we share space with others and not everybody likes what their neighbors do - hunters need to deal with that reality." And vice versa, Hobson - vice versa. If you don't like hunting, don't hunt. I happen to loathe team ballgames and stock car races -- doesn't give me the right to want them banned.

Vineyridge - don't you love those weimars? A friend had two who each grabbed one end of a woodchuck and pulled it apart. Horrible, but they did it. I guess some on this board might want those dogs banned, too! :-)

Everyone needs to read and re-read Weatherford's post about the home invasion by anti-hunt forces. These are not people I can condone. Jail, yes; condone, no.

Snowbird - you say: "I am really tired of an overwhelming government that wants to decide for me what is good, what is healthy, what is right and what is acceptable. If my choice is between that and some activity which by your statement is quite harmless and does not injure the balance of nature but disguises sport with a mantel of purpose, I will always pick on the side of free choice for free people to live or die their own way."

Amen.

Royce
Jan. 22, 2001, 02:27 PM
There are two sides to everything, and there is sincerity on both sides, but the bottom line is that the foxes are allowed to live on farms because the fox hunters pay the farmers to hunt through their fields, and for other services like dead stock removal that the foxhunters provide.

Now the foxes will be clubbed, trapped, gassed, shot and poisoned. I wouldn't be surprised if there is not a fox left alive in Britain in twenty years, except for zoos. But I would be very surprised if the animal rights people say one peep about that.

BayHorse
Jan. 22, 2001, 03:04 PM
The e-mail from Inverness's friend is correct. The ban has yet to go to the House of Lords, where it should be defeated. That means that the process will be started again, but next time the Lords will be by passed. However this will not happen in this parliaments lifetime, which means that it is unlikely to become law before 2003 and they are talking about phasing it out over 5 years.

Don't let it happen to you!!!

Snaffle
Jan. 22, 2001, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by Snowbird:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> There is no right for the majority to impose it's will on the minority. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

There isn't? I thought it was called "majoritarian democracy," or "majority rules," or "one man, one vote." Pardon me, I must be in the wrong country. All in favor, say "Aye."

hobson
Jan. 22, 2001, 05:08 PM
You're close, Snaffle, but I think the correct phrase is "one DOLLAR, one vote." /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

ponyjocke
Jan. 22, 2001, 05:59 PM
they have really turned into a good pack and we do pretty well at Aldie nowadys. I gave mom ur email address so expect to hear from her soon:) is anyone flying over to england to march in the protest? i've just about convinced my mom!

hobson
Jan. 22, 2001, 08:38 PM
I think I've mentioned that I'm not fond of tactics that range from thuggery (i.e. roughing up hunt members) to terrorism (i.e. bombing things and/or killing people) - I wouldn't support it in any context.

Being an armchair political scientist with an interest in social movements, it seems clear to me that a lot of the AR folks do not understand the difference between civil disobedience and bullying. Employing violent tactics is a surefire way to gain public disapproval of your ideas. I think it's both wrong and stupid. On the other hand, to categorize all animal rights activists as terrorists is lazy thinking.

As to the value of banning things, I think it depends on the context and on what's being banned. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. There's a value in banning nasty, unkind and immoral things like trading in child pornography and dog fighting even when you know it will be circumvented. But then, not everyone agrees on what it means to be nasty, unkind and immoral.

I think if a specific practice is determined by a citizenry to be cruel (and as I said, I'm wavering about foxhunting), then it ought to be made illegal. I can't imagine it would be easy for a pack of hounds and a group of 100 horses and to quietly poach fox in protest of a ban, but I agree with you in that bans don't always do the job. Nonetheless, to not take any action at all to stop cruelty is irresponsible.

I hear Snowbird saying that as long as tormenting an animal occurs in the context of human entertainment, it is a sacred cow to be left alone by meddlesome governments. I find that attitude astonishing, and itself an case of reactionary extremism. I used to know kids who liked to blow cats up with small explosives. They especially enjoyed it when the cat was only partially blown apart and still alive enough to get in a second explosion -I guess some folks here would take a hands-off approach to this kind of activity. To witness cruelty and to stand back and say "well, nobody should ever tell anyone else what they can't or can't enjoy" is appalling.

Snowbird
Jan. 22, 2001, 08:47 PM
The rights of the minority are always a part of this republic. The fact is that in this country we are all immigrants and minorities of one kind or another and to some degree. So we are compelled to protect the rights of all minorities even at the expense of our own choices, that is civilization.

The only problem is that while the founding fathers considered free speech and freedom of religion and the freedom to work, they could not imagine there would be a day when we attacked and destroyed people over other beliefs which they felt were too unimportant to be itemized. They thought those rights were self evident.

Once you use the law to descriminate against personal choice and opinions or life style you have opened a pandora's box of weeping and wailing. FREEDOM is the right to eat yourself to death or starve yourself if you choose, the right to have an unhealthy life style if you want; the right to protect your way of life it seems to me is more important than the right to protect your property.

It is the right to become a millionaire or to be homeless. It does not carry the guarantees of a socialism.

In India they believe that it is correct to place a corpse on a high platform so that it can be eaten by vultures. They believe this is returning life to the earth. There are tribes that believe that they should eat their relatives so as to strengthen their family genes.

I don't agree with their belief but I will argue to the day I die for their right to pursue life in the way they believe. There is nothing that proves that our life style or convictions are the ideal for the balance of nature and the endurance of life on this planet.

SLW
Jan. 22, 2001, 08:57 PM
"I hear Snowbird saying that as long as tormenting an animal occurs in the context of human entertainment, it is a sacred cow to be left alone by meddlesome governments."

A fox runs from predators, it is natural or natures way.

<I find that attitude astonishing, and itself an case of reactionary extremism. I used to know kids who liked to blow cats up with small explosives. They especially enjoyed it when the cat was only partially blown apart and still alive enough to get in a second explosion -I guess some folks here would take a hands-off approach to this kind of activity. To witness cruelty and to stand back and say "well, nobody should ever tell anyone else what they can't or can't enjoy" is appalling>

There is nothing natural about cats being blown up by explosives. This is a crime and the kids should be dealt with accordingly.

Ann
Jan. 22, 2001, 11:03 PM
Moose, I despise anyone who practices any kind of terrorist activity. I don't think it is warranted for any reason. I also think there are people who attach themselves to causes like this just so they'll have an opportunity to be stupidly destructive. I'm not sure I completely understand what the fracas was about---were the activists concerned about the way the hounds were treated? Emotions are apparently running high over this issue in the U.K., and I'm sure there's plenty of blame to go around on both sides.

Regardless of how silly people behave, I really do think foxhunting is needlessly cruel. I honestly don't understand the fixation that a fox actually has to die for a hunt to be fun. I've analyzed this from all angles, and I'm just not getting it. I thought HeyYouNags summed up the way I happen to see things very well:

"No one so far has said they enjoy the kill. Everyone couches it as part of nature, etc. So if no one enjoys the kill, then for goodness sake, show a little creativity and find a way to separate the riding part of the sport from the killing."

But then Pt2 insisted that it's perfectly legitimate to kill for fun, and accused me of being a Cotton Mather ("Sinners in the hands of an angry God!" /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif)that just doesn't want anyone to have fun...I can understand that people may need to kill out of necessity, but to kill for fun? To be honest, to me that's kind of creepy. I think the reality is our perceptions of what constitutes "fun" are very different.

In the overall scheme of things, people can perceive things quite differently, and I guess in the end the different personality types balance one another out to create a kind of equilibrium.

Snowbird obviously feels very strongly about respecting the rights and freedoms of individuals, and I respect that. However, within this democratic structure, we do have certain laws we all need to live by so that it is possible for us to interact as a civilized society. If someone wants to drive their Porsche at 120 miles an hour in a residential area does not mean they should have the right to do so. If you're an employer, you don't have the right to discriminate against a job candidate because of their race or religion. You don't have the right to take things that don't belong to you. The list goes on and on. And of course there are the gray areas where opinions as to how to regulate behavior are closely divided, as with abortion, the death penalty, environmental protection, animal rights, and so on. In these cases, decisions are made depending on the political party in power, who happens to be on the Supreme Court /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif and/or the majority opinion of the society. Government does legislate behavior---it has to for society to be civil and in balance.

As for the question as to whether a ban on foxhunting would work---Hobson mentioned the importance of context in deciding whether or not a ban would achieve the objective of sparing the fox from cruelty, or would, on the other hand, make the situation worse for them. I think in this case, a ban really would help the fox, because these foxhunters aren't hooligans---they're respectable people and I'm sure they aren't the kind of people to engage in illegal activities.

Maybe my use of the word "ban" is too harsh. I guess rather than to put it in those terms, I should say I'm FOR bloodless foxhunting. Also, Moose, I agree with what you said about wondering why you're thinking so much about this topic---I was wondering the same thing! I wouldn't have gotten involved at all if all the opinions weren't so predominantly one-sided. In any event, I've found it very interesting and thought-provoking, and have enjoyed reading the opinions on both sides.

hobson
Jan. 23, 2001, 07:05 AM
Snowbird, you talk a good game about respecting this freedom and that right, but one can't help but notice that you only go all out to defend those beliefs/opinions/rights that happen to be in line with your own beliefs. For someone who professes to be prepared to die etc. etc. for opinions you don't agree with, it's telling that you have yet to say anything in support of anti-hunters rights to protect wildlife and the legitimacy of their beliefs. What's up with that?

And please say why you keep bringing up free-speech-related issues in any case, since it's not even related to the topic at hand. We're discussing the possibility of restricting hunting with hounds, not censorship. Do you just not understand the British legislation? The ban, if passed by the lords, would not prevent hunters from saying their piece and declaiming all they want about the beauties of hunting with hounds- they just would not be able to actually DO it. Big difference.

Inverness
Jan. 23, 2001, 09:44 AM
Hobson, I too have made a valiant attempt to find a pattern of rational thought in much of what Snowbird has written on this topic. Unfortunately, I don't think you will find a logical progression of thought in the posts - even if one overlooks the internal inconsistencies and pontification.

You are correct in pointing out that the arguments presented by Snowbird miss the point entirely. This thread has nothing to do with the 1st amendment and the right of the citizenry to freely express its opinion concerning foxhunting or any other type of "sporting" activity. As you so adeptly point out, the right to free speech does not magically imbue the individual with a right to do solely as one pleases in utter disregard of the majority's legislated decision.

On the other hand, I very much enjoy your intelligent and well-reasoned posts on this topic. I myself am "on the fence" with regard to the issue, and I appreciate your many insightful and provocative comments.

Snowbird
Jan. 23, 2001, 09:51 AM
Look if these people with what I feel are weird convictions and habits immigrated to this country should we ban their rights to practice what they believe?

Hunting has as someone already proved not made the fox extinct or put the fox on the endangered species list. It threatens no human being and it serves a social function that benefits those who participate. If they are willing to support horses and give them good care and a home and it keeps open space that can be used by horses then where is the harm?

You on the other hand seem to feel that if instead of the hunt on horseback, agencies of the government are employed to kill the foxes humanely in order to avoid the hazards of an over population of foxes that would be better.

I prefer to defend individual rights and not a government perogative. It's not unlike our excessive deer population which now has reached proportions which endanger humans. New Jersey cancelled it's bear hunt due to such pressures and yet not far from my home a bear broke a window to get into a house for food.

I would not hunt, I do not permit hunters on my farm, but that does not mean that I cannot respect those who will hunt nor that I would not as I have done defend their right to hunt. We had a beautiful 12 point buck in the backyard hiding behind a bush near my house during buck season. He obviously knew he was quite safe here. During doe season they frequently join in with the horses in the pasture to feel safe.

I have neighbors who do hunt, they are very nice people and certainly do not deserve to be attacked as those in England were attacked by zealots who seem to believe that the defense of fox is more important than the rights of the individual.

SLW
Jan. 23, 2001, 09:54 AM
Foxhunting is about hounds chasing. Occasionally a kill is made. In fact, it has been offered that some hunts do avoid a kill with their pack of hounds. I suspect that on a day-to-day basis in GB and the USA autos and natural predators kill more fox than by all American hunts combined at months end. If, for the sake of discussion, the above is correct, why select foxhunting to banish? I can think of only reason.

pt2
Jan. 23, 2001, 10:13 AM
Ann - given your ability to misinterpret my statements (pt2 says it's perfectly legitimate to kill for fun), I can see why you are so easily swayed by PETA and ALF hyperbole. What I said was that no-one is objecting to the death of the fox - by poison, gas, shooting or trapping - only by the sport of foxhunting. If you and the AR radicals are so concerned about the "right" of each fox to live a full lifespan and die of disease or action of non-human predators, which are apparently perceived as more "natural" than action of human predators, why aren't you also campaigning against the farmer going out to shoot, trap, poison or gas the fox? Why only the foxhunters who also happen to make a social/sporting occasion of it? Sorry, Ann, I DO think there is a strong element of puritan self-righteousness in PETA, ALF and your posts. I do NOT kill for fun - and I do enjoy the hunt when hunting is called for. And yes, there is a certain sense of closure when the kill is made. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's "fun" but there was a very real sense of satisfaction when we finally managed to shoot the fox that had been killing our chickens, for example. BTW, I have been known to hunt, stalk, loose the dogs, etc., and not complete the kill. Yes, it's fun without bloodshed. But I am not afraid to acknowledge that as a human being, I am a predator. As are you. As are we all. We just have developed as a society to include certain societally acceptable ways of expressing our predatory instincts. Hunting is one; watching football is another. Pick your game.

It is true that in our society, most decisions are made by majority opinion. This makes it even more important to consider and guard the rights of the minorities. The danger of majority rule is that the uninformed majority can be swayed by emotional appeals by a minority with an organized agenda. It is not overstating the situation to ask, if you approve the ban on foxhunting, will you also approve a ban on any/all hunting, on fishing - then on jumping horses, then on horseshows, then elimination of trails -- and so on. Don't deceive yourselves, it can happen.

Inverness
Jan. 23, 2001, 11:02 AM
I don't pretend to present all of the questions that a thorough examination of this issue warrants. However, before I can make my own determination of how I would vote on this topic, I will have to carefully consider my answers to the following preliminary (factual and value-based) questions:


(1) Should a society allow its citizens to choose to participate in an activity or lifestyle that involves the killing of a sentient species (i.e., in this case, a fox or coyote - biologists/zoologists please forgive my layman's use of the word "species")?

(2) Should a society allow its citizens to choose to participate in an activity or lifestyle that involves the killing of a sentient animal, if the potential for the animal's death is remote, infrequent, or unintended?

(3) Should a society allow its citizens to choose to participate in an activity or lifestyle that involves the killing of a sentient animal (despite the fact that the potential for the animal's death is remote, infrequent, or unintended), if the animal is not to be consumed for its nutritional value?

(4) Should a society allow its citizens to choose to participate in an activity or lifestyle that involves the killing of a sentient animal if that animal is considered undesirable or a "pest?"

(5) Should a society allow its citizens to choose to participate in an activity or lifestyle that involves the killing of a sentient animal, by any means, if that animal is considered undesirable or a "pest?"

(6) Should a society allow its citizens to choose to participate in an activity or lifestyle that involves the killing of a sentient animal, by any means, in order to control animal population or disease?

(7) Should a society prohibit the killing of a sentient animal, regardless of animal population considerations and regardless of whether or not it is considered a "pest?"

(8) Should a society prohibit the killing of a sentient animal, unless the means employed are commonly accepted as "humane?" In this context, the term "humane" is used to mean "marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for animals."

(9) Should the prohibition in (8) above apply to sentient animals experiencing over-population and to sentient animals considered "pests?"

(10) Should a society allow its citizens to choose to participate in an activity or lifestyle that involves the causing stress to a sentient animal?

(11) Should a society allow its citizens to choose to participate in an activity or lifestyle that involves the killing of a sentient animal if that activity is considered a "tradition" by any group of citizens numbering greater than one?

Now, on to the activity of Foxhunting:

(1) Stipulated: Foxes and Coyotes are sentient species.

(2) Is the "kill" involved in the activity of foxhunting "humane?"

(3) Does the activity of foxhunting cause "stress" to the animal?

(4) Is the animal pursued in the activity of foxhunting a "pest?"

(5) Does foxhunting serve a meaningful purpose in controlling potentially harmful over-population situations?

(6) Are alternatives to the activity of foxhunting as pest and/or population control more humane? Should the "more humane" option always be chosen over a lesser "humane" option?

farmgate
Jan. 23, 2001, 11:17 AM
If animal cruelty is truly a major public concern, I say a law should be passed where-by a license must be obtained for dog and cat ownership. Yep, you heard me right! On the grand scale of things, irresponsible dog/cat owners are by far the biggest contributors to blatant cruelty. And how about those "holes" who hit an animal in the road and drive off without a care leaving it writhing in the center lane?

Look, animal shelters are full. An adoption rate of 30% is considered outstanding. The other 4 million or so are put to death. Some shelters' "kill" techniques border on primitive. I won't even explain these in detail but let's say that "ripped to shreds" would be kind by comparison. Unaltered dogs and cats are free to roam at will. "Pets" are kept chained to trees for their entire lifetime. I could go on and on but then, [hey Snowbird], it's a citizen's RIGHT to do so!

But now, most of these fine citizens [and I'll stick my neck out here] are white trash. There's no other fitting description for these people's lack of mental capacity and compassion. Think of the film, Deliverance [Have someone explain that one to you hobson] and you'll get my meaning.

Is anyone pressing for legislation addressing this HUGE problem? Heck no, there's too many offenders responsible. Besides, as I've said before, the wealthy are the ONLY minority which can be publicly attacked for anything.

Here you have a group preceived as snooty foxhunters who's hounds instantly kill a fox who is most likely old, sick or both. This killing of the fox happens once every four or five years around here if at all. In the meantime fox families are protectively monitored against trappers and the ever present "sportsman" who uses them merely for target practice.

I've hunted in England and have never known dens to be blocked. I've also hunted with the Devon & Somerset Stag Hounds there. Those tales of French stag hunting made me grin with the recollection of a very proper Englishman's not too flattering comments on the French sense of "sporting". But now that's another topic.

Ann
Jan. 23, 2001, 11:32 AM
Pt2, you object to my characterization of you as believing "it's legitimate to hunt for the fun of it." what part of your following statement did I misinterpret?

"I'm bemused by the apparent tendency to disapprove hunting because it is fun. No-one has objected to killing foxes as a part of wildlife management, so do we presume that it's OK to go out grimly with dog and gun to walk down foxes, but not to make a day of it with friends and horses? Why, oh why, are the forces which consider themselves of higher purpose so often so completely dreary? Shades of Cotton Mather and the boys!"

And how did I go from being Cotton Mather to being some radical PETA/ALF supporter? Does the fact that I believe foxhunting could be just as fun if an actual fox was not hunted and killed warrant being described in such extreme terms? How would you react if I accused you of being a "blood sports pervert?" Personal attacks like yours serve only to polarize people with differing points of view, and make it impossible to agree on any sort of middle ground.

Inverness, I'm very glad you've separated this issue out into its logical components (although it would have been great to have it earlier /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif. )
I have been posting all of my viewpoints with the objective of proving that foxhunting is not humane. I've also attempted to assert that foxes are actually more of an asset to farmers than a pest (most farmland is devoted to growing crops, and foxes prey on the mice and rabbits that destroy them.) In addition, even if you accept the argument that foxes are virulent pests, the number of foxes killed by foxhunting is so insignificant as to be useless as a means of pest control.

[This message was edited by Ann on Jan. 23, 2001 at 03:25 PM.]

Ann
Jan. 23, 2001, 11:44 AM
Farmgate, I just read your post. Actually, people ARE working to address the problem of unwanted dogs and cats. I work in San Francisco, a city that has "No Kill" shelters. The ASPCA here is the most luxurious animal shelter you'll ever see, with carpeted floors, play areas, furniture and TVs for the animals. Tour groups are actually taken there. I'm not solely focused on foxes--I contribute to animal welfare causes of all kinds.

As far as this type of issue is concerned, if anyone has benefited from distinctions of class, it's been the wealthy---bullbaiting and cockfighting were banned long ago. Were these pursuits of the upper classes? No, only now is anyone classifying foxhunting in the same terms and objecting to it.

farmgate
Jan. 23, 2001, 11:54 AM
I am well aware of the San Francisco shelters and the great work they do. If only other shelters had the same network of support. But, I fear you've missed my point. To refer to an org who places orphan animals and institutes spay/neuter programs still does not address the cause of the origin of their plight.

Janet
Jan. 23, 2001, 12:51 PM
Referring to people who abuse dogs:<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> But now, most of these fine citizens [and I'll stick my neck out here] are white trash. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> I am involved enough in dog rescue to know that the TRASH who abuse dogs come in all races and all income levels.

WRT No Kill shelters and organizations (and that describes the one I am involved with), all it REALLY means is that you let somebody else do the killing. When the no-kill places are full, the kill shelters get more animals.

Snowbird
Jan. 23, 2001, 01:21 PM
I am afraid that however delicately you questions are couched my answer would be that it is not any of the business of "society" as in a republic. Perhaps in a society as in socialist it might be, but my question is should it be ther business of any society?

We have so much more abuse been vented on people to worry about this I can hardly believe this debate even has enough tooth to survive. I agree that the abuse of our companions is much worse. Animals already elevated in our society are suffering from neglect and abuse.

I wonder is there equal hysteria in favor of the fox from all those who decorate their vehicles and clothes with fox tails. And, what about the poor rabbit whose little feet are supposed to bring good luck, they certainly weren't lucky for the rabbit.

You can spend your whole life worrying about insignificant problems so as to avoid facing the real ones I suppose.

hobson
Jan. 23, 2001, 01:52 PM
"Agencies of the government employed to kill the fox"...socialism..."Deliverance"...

huh?

Inverness, thanks for the clear thinking! I too enjoy reading your stuff. Maybe we should hold a virtual supreme BB court trial on this one.

fernie fox
Jan. 23, 2001, 02:19 PM
I am computer illiterate,would someone please post the link below Just my opinion I think it is a very good article.IMHO.
www.economist.com/world/europe/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=478820 (http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=478820)
Please use all of the article.
thank you.

fernie fox

[This message was edited by fernie fox on Jan. 23, 2001 at 05:26 PM.]

Erin
Jan. 23, 2001, 04:29 PM
Following the logic on some of these posts...

Since millions are dying of AIDS in Africa, and that's an infinitely greater tragedy than any bungling that may or may not occur at the AHSA, rule change efforts are not worthwhile? Because there are other issues that are more important?

I don't think saying that X is a worse problem than Y is any kind of defense for problem Y. It's just a diversion tactic.

And since it's none of society's business what we do in our free time (a sentiment I largely agree with, by the way), I guess if some trainer somewhere thought it were necessary, it would be okay if he/she rode a horse in a chain noseband, poled it, sored it, drugged it, or whatever? If you perceive that as cruelty and don't think a trainer should be allowed do that sort of thing, how can you claim those who perceive foxhunting as cruel have no right to try to ban it?

I think the tactics employed by the antis in the UK are totally reprehensible. But that's not a logical defense either... if they were peacefully holding sit-ins, what argument would you use then?

I'm sorry, but I'm having a real hard time following the logic here... and I am NOT in favor of the ban. But geez, if I were, arguments like this sure wouldn't dissuade me.

[This message was edited by Erin on Jan. 23, 2001 at 07:50 PM.]

B.G.M. heidi
Jan. 23, 2001, 04:42 PM
Thought this might add something to the ongoing debate. Especially loved the quote from Oscar Wilde, "The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable."

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,96150,00.html

Snowbird
Jan. 23, 2001, 05:10 PM
I found your article so sad and very depressing. I do believe it is good to preserve our history so we can understand where we come from and how we got here so we don't always keep making the same mistakes.

What a tragedy to lose the hunt in favor of farmers shooting the foxes, and all those homeless and unneeded dogs being euthanized. Would the horse be far behind? I mean if the English couldn't hunt and steeplechase would there be so many horses bred and raised and cared for. Will the horse be relegated to a lawn ornament? A lazy useless life for such proud and beautiful creatures.

Inverness
Jan. 24, 2001, 07:09 AM
This is one of a number of excellent books on the subject of Animal Protectionism.


Animals, Property, and the Law (Ethics and Action)
by Gary L. Francione, Esq.; forward by William M. Kunstler, Esq.

I believe that Professor Francione was recently a guest on Kojo Namdi's show on NPR, but I may be confusing him with another professor of law.

This book and many others on this subject are available from Amazon.com.

Snowbird
Jan. 24, 2001, 08:31 AM
This was copied from the article as posted by ferniefox from the Europe Economist. I think it says it all.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>It is a reasonable question. The answer, unless you are an animal-rights fundamentalist, is that the line must be drawn somewhere. Otherwise, the logical sequel to a ban on fox-hunting is a ban on all shooting, fishing, the use of animals in experiments, and the rearing for slaughter of poultry and cattle. Politicians are entitled to move the existing line, but ought at least to aim for some proportionality. In other words, the welfare benefit they confer on the animal ought to be commensurate with the cost they impose on liberty. In this case, it is not. The plain fact is that not even Parliament can make the lot of the fox a happy one. Of the 400,000 or so foxes that die every year, few expire peacefully in bed. About 100,000 are squashed by cars, about 80,000 are shot and 30,000 are snared. Only 22,000 are killed in hunts. And Lord Burns gave warning that although hunting with hounds compromised the welfare of the fox, a ban might compromise it further by causing more of them to be killed by shotguns and snares.

What next? The elected majority must have its way. Tony Blair has already said as much to the half-reformed House of Lords, where the battle now moves, and with which it may now suit him to pick a fight. Some defenders of hunting�and some who oppose hunting but defend liberty�hope that voters will punish Mr Blair for engineering this outcome. That is wishful thinking. Polls suggest that a ban could be popular. It will have been arrived at by impeccable democratic methods. It just happens to be wrong.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Weatherford
Jan. 24, 2001, 09:00 AM
This link includes a copy of a letter from the ALF to an American foxhunter who wanted proof that the beagles stolen from the Wye College Beagles kennel were actually placed in homes, not destroyed.

The letter from the ALF is not to be viewed by those who take offense to verbal abuse and foul language.

I find this very very disturbing.

http://matt.cc.uky.edu/foxhunting/alf.html

Duffy
Jan. 24, 2001, 09:05 AM
OMG, Weatherford!!!

"Disturbing" doesn't come close to describing the tone, let alone the words, used in that letter!!!

VTrider
Jan. 24, 2001, 09:11 AM
Ummm...I don't think that organization will be around much longer!

HeyYouNags
Jan. 24, 2001, 09:12 AM
Inverness, thank you for your previous post, which showed the spectrum of sentiments one could hold on this issue. I think that's the key - there is a range of opinions one can hold. Personally, my beliefs are around an 8 on your scale. And there is considerable legal precedent (Animal Welfare Act, Humane Slaughter laws, American Vet. Med. Association's euthanasia guidelines, state animal control laws) that reflect something around 8 as our social norm (i.e., sentient creatures should be euthanized by humane methods). The hallmarks of a "good death" under existing regulations are quick, minimally painful and stressful, rapid loss of consciousness - believe it or not, it's been pretty well studied.

My interpretation of this is, it will be an uphill battle for anyone who wants to convince the general public that hunting with hounds is a humane way to reduce "nuisance" animal populations. Why should it be acceptable for foxes if it isn't for laboratory animals, or even food animals?

Was it pt2 who mentioned protecting her chickens from foxes? I have a little flock, too, and it seems that every wild critter in southern MD comes through my place. I've had a couple of evening stand-offs with foxes recently. Actually, by far the greatest loss of chickens has been due to neighbor's dogs. Despite having been given a .22 by a friend (me: Umm, gee, a gun. Umm, how thoughtful of you...), I haven't been able to shoot any of the predators. I did, however, invest in a live trap, and have relocated raccoons and even skunks. The most recent dog mysteriously disappeared (well, he found a new home) after the neighbors ignored repeated requests not to let him run loose.

Sooo, I ride with hounds, live amongst the predators, and would favor drag hunts. I don't buy the "slippery slope" theories, that once we can't hunt with hounds, the next step is no horse riding at all. We may be at different points along Iverness's spectrum of beliefs, but that doesn't equate with an inevitable slide along the scale.

And re:Francione, the author who was on K. Nnamdi's show - he's about as far along the spectrum in favor of animal rights as one could go, without having claws and fur! I believe he is of the "don't ride horses" school of thought. /infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

pt2
Jan. 24, 2001, 10:44 AM
Oh, Ann, you are too funny...can I put that on a sweatshirt, or do you have it copyrighted?

I obviously can't prevent you from taking sentences of my posts out of context and applying your own unique twist to them. If you bother to read the entire post from which you quoted, it is clear that I was referring to the fact than no-one, including you unless I missed some small comment, has posted as being in the least bit concerned that foxes are killed by various means, only that @3%(?) are killed by hunting with horse and hound. The only difference between the means of hunting is that horse/hound has some value as social interaction and exhilaration of galloping cross-country behind baying hounds - and even you admit that part of it is *fun.* SO, to obsess about 3% of the foxes killed by foxhunters, while ignoring the plight of 97% of foxes killed by other means does, IMO, smack of puritanism, self-righteousness and hypocrisy. The comment is general - if the shoe fits, wear it; if it doesn't, it wasn't made for you anyway.

SLWarrior makes excellent points about the role of hunters in preservation of wildlife and their environments. Ducks Unlimited has been a major force in preservation of the wetlands. In this state, 25 years ago there were no wild turkeys - none, extinct, gone. Now there is a thriving population which we all enjoy, thanks to the efforts of the Turkey Hunters Assoc. The animal welfare people had nothing to do with it. Just the BLP's. The list goes on -- hunters are actually better for wildlife and wildlands than non-hunters in case after case.

Animal welfare...yes, Ann, I believe you have a real and sincere concern for it. You're just a bit quick to assume that those who don't agree with your POV don't also care for animals. Those of us who have worked with wildlife management as well as domestic stock and pet issues have learned that balancing the needs of wildlife with the needs of humans and domestic animals is more complex that "Ohmigod, they killed Bambi." In the absence of a significant number of large predators, it is necessary to monitor and control animal populations. You can't possibly have a problem with that concept - so again, your dispute seems to be the manner of control. I think if we could sit down and talk, rather than communcate through a BB, we might find more common ground than not. JMHO. /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Inverness - I read your entire post and am in agreement with Snowbird. If you want to live in a society which micromanages its citizens' lives, we have tremendous differences of opinion as to the role of government. I'll only address one point specifically: regarding eliminating pests. We have raccoons and skunks on the protected list. We have a huge overpopulation of both, and both are diseased to the point that you'd best assume any coon or skunk is rabid. Is it really your stance that we should live with a large population of rabid rodents, endangering our stock, pets, children and selves, rather than killing the population down to a number that can be sustained in health? /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

This whole discussion hinges on value and lifestyles - don't know that arguing is going to change anyone's position. Don't know that I care. The articles Heidi and Ferniefox posted address the questions as well as any -- it appears to be a more complex issue than just whether or not to hunt the fox, and how.

Cheers - I'm off to take care of my animals - who don't live in upholstered stalls and kennels but who seem to thrive anyway. /infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

vineyridge
Jan. 24, 2001, 12:22 PM
The Burns Commission was the official British government research commission on the facts around hunting with dogs.

I am quoting their actual report.
http://www.huntinginquiry.gov.uk/mainsections/huntingreport.htm

2.19 The following paragraphs briefly describe the main
features of a day's foxhunting with mounted followers.

(ii) A day's hunting

2.20 In the days leading up to a hunt the Master or Huntsman
[34] is expected to contact farmers and landowners in the
area to discuss any potential difficulties such as growing crops
or fields in which livestock are being held. Many hunts take
steps the night before, or early on the day of the hunt, to
block up the entrances to earths, badger setts and artificial
places such as drains. This is to ensure that foxes stay above
ground after they have hunted during the night and to prevent
them from going to ground once the hunt has started. Where
earths have been stopped they are required by the MFHA
rules to be opened up again at the end of the day's hunting.

2.21 Typically, riders, hounds and followers gather together at
the meet at about 11:00 am. This is usually held at a farm or
outside a public house or on a village green. After
refreshments and any announcements, the Huntsman, the hunt
staff and hounds will "move off" to the place where it is
planned to start hunting. The mounted field, typically 30 at a
mid-week meet and 50 at weekends, led by the Field Master,
will follow at a distance. A similar number of other followers
will set off, often in vehicles, for a suitable vantage point.

2.22 The hounds will be encouraged to spread out to "draw"
(search) for a fox in woodland or rough ground. If they find a
scent, the hounds will "speak" (give voice excitedly) and follow
the "line". Sometimes the hounds will come across a fox and kill
it immediately ("chop" it) before it has had a chance to flee. In
other cases, the hounds, followed at a distance by the mounted
field, who may have to take an indirect route, will pursue the
fox or, rather, its scent. Often, the hounds will lose the scent
altogether, as a result of the scenting conditions or the fox's
movements. They may have to "check" in order to rediscover it.
If the hounds are successful in their pursuit, they will get
close enough to the fox to see it and will then catch it up, kill it
and usually tear at the carcass ("break it up"). The length of
the chase may vary considerably, from a few minutes to well
over an hour or even longer, but the average is some 15 to 20
minutes. The distance covered may be anything up to six or
seven miles, in a circular or twisting line.[35] The Huntsman,
once he or she has caught up with the hounds, will call them
off. The tail ("brush") of the fox, or possibly its feet, may be
removed and given to one of the followers. Generally, few
riders and followers will be present at the kill.[36]

2.23 Quite frequently, instead of being caught by the hounds,
the fox will go to ground, typically in a fox earth. According to
the rules of the MFHA, if the fox has gone to ground in a
natural earth, it may be dug out and killed if the farmer or
landowner has requested that any foxes going to ground on his
or her land should be dug out.[37] It cannot be released to be
hunted again. The decision whether to dig out is for the Master
to take and may turn on the difficulty of doing so or the
damage which might be caused in the process. If, however, the
fox has taken refuge in a man-made structure, or in a place
such as rocks where it cannot be dug out, the fox may be
"bolted", by putting a terrier down, and hunted again. The
MFHA rules require that the fox must be given a sporting
chance to escape before the hounds are "laid on".

2.24 The same rules about digging-out apply to
MFHA-registered members of the FWP and to those AMBH
packs which hunt foxes. The CCFP's rules also require that the
MFHA procedures should be followed, although we understand
that more discretion is permitted because of the nature of the
terrain and the greater emphasis on 'pest control'.

2.25 The task of dealing with a fox that has "gone to ground"
falls to the terrierman.[38] In the case of the MFHA and
related associations, the terrierman must be on the register of
terriermen kept by the MFHA and must also hold a current
licence from them.[39] If the fox is to be dug out, they will
close, or net off, other possible exits and then put a terrier
(usually with a radio tracking device) down the hole in order to
locate the fox. The terrier will either bolt the fox or drive it
back to a stationary position. In the case of the latter, the
terriermen will then block any exits from the earth and dig
down to the fox, remove the terrier and shoot the fox in the
head with a specially-adapted pistol. If the fox runs into a net,
it will be held still and shot. The MFHA rules state that only
one or two people should assist the terrierman when digging out
or bolting and that the Master in charge, or someone of
authority personally appointed by them, must supervise any
digging-out or bolting operation.[40] In the meantime the hunt
will usually have moved on to begin hunting elsewhere.

2.26 For the rest of the day there will be a similar process of
drawing, scenting and pursuit. Mounted followers may change
horses.

The report is equally complete about hares, minks, and deer.

SLW
Jan. 24, 2001, 01:14 PM
Why am I not surprised to see such crude language in the ALF letter. My heart just breaks for the Beagles who are away from all things which they are familiar with. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif My dogs would be terribly distraught were they in that situation. So sad.

On a lighter note, I went hunting this morning. It was "Puppy" day. Nothing like spending the morning with the "kindergarden canine group" to put this mess in perspective. Lovely hunt, great puppies.