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Hunting Banned in U.K.!

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  • The Burns Commission was the official British government research commission on the facts around hunting with dogs.

    I am quoting their actual report.

    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

    The report is equally complete about hares, minks, and deer.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire


    • 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. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] 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.