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to think that fox hunting ban might have been a mistake?

(284 Posts)
lessonsintightropes Wed 26-Jun-13 00:29:22

I live in suburban South London and have done for donkeys. Over the last five years foxes have been encroaching a lot into our neighbourhood and have killed a couple of cats, and regularly torn up bins etc. I know at least nine individual foxes by sight. I'm in zone 3!

I was always rabidly anti-hunting on cruelty grounds when I was ill informed younger. My DBrother and DSis live in very rural Hampshire; she used to hunt and now they drag-hunt exclusively, but they lose a lot of chickens, ducks and cats despite stalagluft-style electric fences.

I've rethought my position over time and have come to the conclusion that town people shouldn't dictate to country people how to live, and vice versa. Especially when countryside vermin start inhabiting my street!

What makes me a bit anxious is the risk to children and domestic pets from a growing fox population. It's certainly made my cat anxious and makes me freak out a bit when I see something dog sized in my tiny suburban garden, but am also well prepared to listen to arguments the other direction (although I will always wish they don't rip up my recycling bags).

Would love to know what the MN jury has to say?

Blessyou Wed 26-Jun-13 00:31:24

Er, were there many hunts, prior to the ban, in suburban South London?

I agree with you.

They move into towns when the numbers get too high in the surrounding countryside. If numbers are kept dow in the countryside, they have room to live and hunt there and don't need to move into town and rip up garbage and eat cats.

redacted Wed 26-Jun-13 00:33:37

I really don't think fox-hunting does that much to keep down the fox population anywhere. I'm sure I read something about how if a fox is killed by the hunt another fox will take over its patch so it makes no difference. It's certainly not a very time-effective method of killing foxes.

I'm a country girl. On the one hand the fact of people actively setting out to kill something for fun creeps me out, on the other hand I do think foxes are vermin and cause a lot of damage.

Basically, I'm going to say YABU because the hunting ban will not have made any difference at all to fox populations in zone 3 London! City foxes are cheeky fuckers.

WorraLiberty Wed 26-Jun-13 00:34:54

I live in a London Borough and to this day I've never seen a bunch of blood thirsty knobbers on horsback...jumping over the garden fences with a pack of blood thirsty hounds, loving every minute of terrorising a small animal to death.

We simply ring council pest control.

angusandelspethsthistlewhistle Wed 26-Jun-13 00:37:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

recall Wed 26-Jun-13 00:37:28

I don't think the ban has actually stopped then hunting, not round here anyway.

I agree with you OP.

Foxes are vermin. Dangerous vermin.

There are ways to control the population of wild animals that are becoming a problem.

Dressing up like pompous fools, making it a fun "sporting" event and allowing the dogs to rip apart said animal is not necessary.

They don't bloody do that when culling badgers etc do they?

Killing foxes isn't illegal, indeed the hunt itself isn't illegal, just using dogs to do it.

If we do become over run with foxes they will be culled, in a humanely as possible way.

ThisIsMummyPig Wed 26-Jun-13 00:39:23

The fact is that hunting never killed large numbers of foxes, despite media reports to the contrary.

Foxes are in the same category as pigeons and rats. If you don't want them in cities then there needs to be no litter, and food waste needs to be disposed of securely. Until that happens they will continue to thrive.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 00:41:55

There has been little change in the overall fox population since before the ban.

More foxes were killed by cars and died of natural causes than hunting

Pre the ban hunts only accounted for about 5% of fix deaths in the UK

Most urban foxes live on small rodents and carrion rather than raiding bins

Foxes are getting bolder because loony people feed them


Wuldric Wed 26-Jun-13 00:43:32

You are confusing two things:

1. Foxes are vermin and generally should be kept down. Hunting is not about keeping the fox population down. It is about having a rousing good gallop across country.

2. Having a rousing good gallop across country really annoys socialists. They don't like the fact that you have to have a certain degree of wealth to enjoy said gallop. So, how best to stop these wealthy people from enjoying themselves? I know, let's ban foxhunting.

It'll be polo next. And yachting. Have you seen the cruelty to minnows involved in yachting?

I agree it is the rise in food waste over the years that has enabled the urban fox to thrive, and that fox hunting never did kill a significant amount of foxes. It was the cruelty of the sport that protesters objected to.

WorraLiberty Wed 26-Jun-13 00:44:15

We have marginally less foxes around here since the introduction of the council wheelie bins 18 months ago.

But we never had any at all until the late 70s when the high street opened 4 takeaways in close proximity.

The same high street now has approximately 18 or 20 takeaways and restaurants. If you're out and about early on a Sunday morning, you can play 'dodge the chicken bones and pizza boxes' whilst walking the dog.

If that's true then I would say the rise in food waste has icreased the number of rats, therefore giving foxes more food.

And yes, loony people do feed them like my mil

Sorry I meant to quote

Most urban foxes live on small rodents and carrion rather than raiding bins"

If that's true.

That sounds like I'm saying it's not true now <sigh> I do believe it, I'm just very tired and can't type coherently smile

Notafoodbabyanymore Wed 26-Jun-13 00:47:54

There is someone on here called CrackFox and I feel strongly that they need to weigh in with their opinion on this thread.


WorraLiberty Wed 26-Jun-13 00:49:14

2. Having a rousing good gallop across country really annoys socialists. They don't like the fact that you have to have a certain degree of wealth to enjoy said gallop. So, how best to stop these wealthy people from enjoying themselves? I know, let's ban foxhunting.

I disagree

I'm sure most people are too busy getting on with their lives to give a shiny shit how 'wealthy' people spend their leisure time.

I think it's the thigh rubbing and glee derived from terrorising a small animal before it's either ripped to shreds, or dies of sheer fright. That's what makes many normal minded people think they're sick fuckers.

When the council come to cull vermin, they just get on with their job.

They don't tend to slap one another on the back and swap stories of how they enjoyed the animal's demise.

WorraLiberty Wed 26-Jun-13 00:52:29

Halos you've confused the fuck out of me grin

I can only say what I see (Roy Walker stylee) and when we had to put bin bags out the front (before wheelie bins) the foxes used to rip them to shreds right before your eyes.

One cheeky fecker barely moved his arse to one side, so my DS could pass him on the path. It was too busy devouring the Sunday roast carcass to care.

There are wealthy people that despise fox hunting too!

I'm happy with what we've got, I'm certainly not envious of rich folk having fun, just not at the expense of terrfying a small animal unecessarily. Other that they can do what they like, wearing their most pomp-tastic finery wink

Wuldric Wed 26-Jun-13 00:55:04

Yeah yeah. Are you seriously claiming that the ban on fox-hunting had anything to do with animal welfare? Seriously?

Foxes are vermin, old love. When they are killed by hounds they are killed rapidly and painlessly. It is another thing that most actual hunts do not result in a kill.

If you were to make the argument about animal cruelty on stag-hunting, then I don't think anyone would disagree with you. Stag-hunting is repugnant. Fox hunting is the equivalent of putting a mouse trap in your kitchen.

I've confused myself! I do wish we had an edit button.

angusandelspethsthistlewhistle Wed 26-Jun-13 00:58:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sparrowp Wed 26-Jun-13 01:00:22

I saw a fox in a field once. That's about it...

Why don't you do something else with your horse. What about the horse-dancing thing?

yeah, dressage. do that.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik Wed 26-Jun-13 01:00:55

Not all 'country people' were against the hunt ban.

Some hunts made a very bad name for themselves. I don't think it's a particularly lovely way to keep down fox numbers, but my issues with the local hunts were more to do with them being arrogant and disruptive.

Wuldric, the chase could go on a for a long time. The whole time a fox was being chased it would be utterly terrified. It certainly is cruel.

I have not claimed that foxes aren't vermin, just that they should be culled humanely. Killing is a job that that no pleasure should be gained from.

And "old love", really? hmm

WorraLiberty Wed 26-Jun-13 01:02:56

Wuldric I'm quite sure the council have a far more successful death rate when it comes to the masses of foxes they kill.

But personally I think it's more about the sick minds of those who take pleasure in the death and see it as a 'sport'.

I feel the same way about anyone who celebrates terror and death.

Their 'wealth' would be far better put to use by seeking psychiatric help and looking into why they get off on this type of thing.

That's the way i see it Worra. To take pleasure from killing is twisted.

I don't care whether it's the wealthy upper class, or working class that are doing it, it's still sick.

If culling has to be done then so be it, but not like that.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 01:09:16

"Fox hunting is the equivalent of putting a mouse trap in your kitchen"

Oh yes, because I often dress up in red blazer, invite over dozens of my friends and then chase a terrified mouse round the kitchen for several hours before ripping it to shreds and daubing my children with its blood hmm

What utter tosh Wuldric.

EMUZ Wed 26-Jun-13 01:26:47

I get irritated with people mocking the "dress up thing". It's called tradition, like a wedding dress or a uniform. When I go to compete a horse I have to wear certain clothing, it's rules and established. I do it because its polite to the judge, I'd quite like to win and not be disqualified
The majority of what people wear hunting is exactly the same as what people wear in the show ring but I don't see people mocking then
Sorry, it just irritates me to be labelled "pompous and dressed up" when I make a huge effort to make me and horse look smart. And am not wealthy and work for NHS

MrsVJDay Wed 26-Jun-13 01:34:54

Dear God, foxes die from 'sheer fright', really? How fucking stupid are some people, really?
Foxes are the only animal, apart from humans, who hunt for reasons other than food. Whether that be fun, malice or whatever. This is why any country folk, having seen the carnage they create even when fences are dug in 3 feet down lose while runs of chickens (none actually eaten btw)

I have no objection to people dressing up and making an effort, or tradition. All good harmless fun.

Thedefinition of the word pompous is "Affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important".

In my own personal opinion getting ketted out like that to carry out pest control for pleasure fits the definition.

We're not talking about horse shows, or other occasions when people dress up, we're talking about getting dressed up especially to kill!

SodaStreamy Wed 26-Jun-13 01:43:48

This kind of crap makes me annoyed

You are talking about an animal who gets hunted out of it's natural habitat (where is it supposed to go?)

To MrsVJDay Dear God , humans are the animals that make a sport out of dressing up, getting on the backs of other animals and training dogs to go and rip an other animal to death for sport, then rubbing the blood of the kill on their young like some sort of rite of passage

ps my domestic cat used to hunt mice and really wasnt fussed about eating it....more a present delivered iyswim

Who said foxes die from sheer fright?

No the fox doesn't die from the terror it experiences whilst being hounded, but i can think of better ways to spend the last hour or two of your life wink

The local farmers around here shoot the foxes if they're causing a nuisance, never seen one of them dressing up for the occasion or turning into a sport. They don't appear to have the time nor the inclination.

Lovecat Wed 26-Jun-13 01:46:09

Wuldric, 'old love', you're talking rubbish with your second point.

Until DD happened along I owned a horse. Along with 90% of my yard I wasn't rich, and certainly wasn't after paying my horse feed and livery bills (not to mention the blacksmith, mutter mutter idiot horse with feet the size of dinner plates that needed shoeing every 4 weeks). We were a motley bunch of teachers, NHS workers, manual labourers and factory workers, who loved our horses enough to spend all our spare time/money on them.

Hunting is a completely inefficient way of killing foxes. A friend of mine who lives in Hornsey has just clubbed together with her neighbours and paid a firm to come and shoot their foxes. In 2 days in just their street they have killed 8 foxes quickly and cleanly. Hunting, with the death of an animal at the end of it, is horrible and unneccessary. I wouldn't drag hunt because I value my life but it's there as a legal alternative if you are mental like riding fast over the countryside.

Yours, a horse-riding socialist who likes dressing up to do dressage etc. smile

MrsVJDay, i will tell you what i tell my young children, two wrongs don't make a right. Just because a fox hunts for pleasure, that doesn't make it okay for humans to do so. We are not wild animals.

If a wild animal is causing problems we deal with it in a time and cost effective and humane manner.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 01:52:06

Cats also kill for the pleasure of it. Best start culling the urban cat population.

Hunting may have its origins in keeping the pest at bay but latterly was all about the pomp and ceremony and the port quaffing and having one's revenge on a defencelss animal and revelling in that revenge....hence the dressing up being an integral part of it. If it was only about keeping the fox population down, a bunch of blokes in sweaty jeans and barbours with guns would do the job much better just as well

And remember only 5-6% of foxes killed each year prior to the ban were done so by fox-hunting.

Faff all to do with keeping pests down.

And, if the dressing up and riding about blowing horns is that important (each to their own), fine, just carry on with that aspect without ripping animals apart.

SodaStreamy Wed 26-Jun-13 02:08:11

A question for the pro hunters here....

Because I would like to know the answer to this

Why do you rub the child forehead who's first catch it is in the blood of the kill?

SodaStreamy Wed 26-Jun-13 02:11:30

And as I said before this makes me annoyed


LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 02:14:34

because it is an integral part of the humane culling process and nothing to do with pleasure/pomp/ceremony/pack mentality would be my guess SodaStreamy hmm

To the OP, foxes are not a threat to local pets, provided the pets are secure. If you have small rodents, and a vibrant fox population, you could always keep the pets indoors, and teach your children not to approach wild animals and to make as much noise as possible in your garden to discourage them.

SodaStreamy Wed 26-Jun-13 02:32:52

err... so you think folk ridingabout in redcoats on horseback with beagles baying for blood playing the bugle is an 'intergal part of the humane culling process' then?


EMUZ Wed 26-Jun-13 02:33:30

SodaStreamy - not that up on it (some of my friends hunt) but I believe again as with the clothes, drink etc it is an old tradition that still carries on

SodaStreamy Wed 26-Jun-13 02:35:11

why does it take 40 men and women on horseback, dressed up in the hunt clothes, with a pack of dogs and playing a bugle to 'cull' in your words little fox

Bit overkill no?

EMUZ Wed 26-Jun-13 02:36:45

You get kitted up not for the pest control as such but for the tradition and because its respectful to the hunt master. You could turn up with your horse covered in mud and wearing willies but yeah, it would be frowned upon
Not arguing about for or against it but some of the stuff said still believes that it's wealthy people who do this and that

EMUZ Wed 26-Jun-13 02:37:03

Feck! Wellies not willies!!! grinblushblushblush

SodaStreamy Wed 26-Jun-13 02:41:24

EMUZ well some traditions should be broken

Is it till ok to 'fag' a boy at boarding school simply because it is a British Tradition?

EMUZ Wed 26-Jun-13 02:42:42

Well no, and I'm not saying all hunts do blood the new person, I honestly don't know. I'd imagine if you said no they're not going to pin you down

SodaStreamy Wed 26-Jun-13 02:48:07

well i've yet to see someone coming out of a council estate , or on benefits don a horse and ride out into the sunset to join a hunt!

It's also the 'want to be considered as wealthy brigrade' that participate

a) You have to have acces to a horse

B) You must think it's ok to hunt an animal to death

C) You're a bit a prick if you think this is ok or fun

roundtheback Wed 26-Jun-13 03:13:48

I think the ban was basically a class issue. My own view, backed by no real experience, was that the time and angst devoted to it was way out of proportion to the actual issue.
I frequently see foxes around the centre of leeds these days, I have no idea how significant or otherwise that is.
It's an issue I find it very difficult to get worked up about, on either side, tbh.

zippey Wed 26-Jun-13 04:13:49

If you are worried about the fix population, a humane cull rather than an organised hunt would be far more effective. Campaign for this rather than bring hunting back.

Fixes do kill cats but cats kill animals too, and are intimidated by dogs. Humans kill too. I don't agree with hunting down cats, dogs or humans.

The dressing up is fine but why don't ex hunters go for a nice jolly social gallop rather than killing an animal?

I don't think foxes are the only animals to kill for pleasure, cats do this too.

TheRealFellatio Wed 26-Jun-13 04:20:18

Do you honestly think that a bunch of posh people in funny clothes churning up the countryside for four hours of a Sunday in order to kill just one fox is going to have any impact whatsoever on the urban fox problem?

Yes there is an urban fox problem and it needs dealing with, but seriously, fox hunting on horseback is not the way, and never has been really. Anyone who thinks fox hunting is about actually controlling foxes is very naive.

McGeeDiNozzo Wed 26-Jun-13 04:46:06

Any view I have on fox-hunting is overshadowed by the more-or-less-fact-but-actually-it's-just-my-opinion-I-suppose that the fox-hunting ban was very likely intended to be a distraction from the much much worse shit being done by the Labour Party at the time (Iraq, civil liberties, and so on). It was an easy win for them, because it's not hard to pick the right side.

I lived in SE London until 6 years ago and would have agreed with you. Now live in the country and only time we see foxes is as road kill.

So not sure.

In towns they are vermin, big rats out to shit on your patio, kill your pets and rip open your rubbish but here, well I don't see the damage they do do would probably say leave them alone.

EMUZ Wed 26-Jun-13 06:15:20

I'm confused, well sort of. So if fox hunting doesn't control the fox population, and in my understanding very few foxes get caught, usually the ill and elderly ones do. People say its cruel etc but some agree the fox population needs controlling
So the ones who think its cruel but don't think the population is a problem, would you be happier with one fox killed by a hunt or 30 taken out with a gun? Not as an argument but just different points of view are interesting (we had to debate it at Uni). Maybe I'm saying if its such a rubbish way of controlling the population because few are caught then why do people get up in arms about it, is it the class thing? Because dog fighting is cruel but you don't see people marching/petitioning etc, it just seems fox hunting causes such a huge divide.
Personally for me there are other aspects of animal cruelty that bother me more, but that's because I see a fox as equal to a rat really
Bear with me, it sounded better in my head smile

Dog fighting has been illegal in the UK since 1835; there was plenty of campaigning and lobbying the government back then. No need any more to start petitions against it.

On one hand, I find it hard to get overwrought over foxes but on the other - what UsualSuspect said. Fox hunting being made illegal stopped undeniable cruelty to animals taking place so made our country a slightly better place.

EMUZ Wed 26-Jun-13 06:33:13

But dog fighting still goes on. I haven't seen a case recently that made the paper but I did see one about someone pulled for hunting. It just seems to cause more uproar and disgust than other types of animal things

nooka Wed 26-Jun-13 06:37:03

Dog fighting is already illegal and has been since 1835, so why would people be protesting about it. Dog fights still do occur, but they happen underground and the police are fairly active in tracking down pit battles (possibly because they are strongly associated with organised crime and the drug trade).

Hunting foxes with dogs was a bit of an outlier as so many of the blood sports were made illegal a very long time ago, but hunting was instead celebrated. I do agree that it was a bit of a handy distraction for the government of the time.

I'm not keen on rural foxes because I've seen a few lambs ripped apart, and urban foxes can be bloody noisy at night (I grew up in South London zone 3 and there have always been lots of foxes IME). Shooting them when they become a nuisance seems a perfectly acceptable solution to me.

It does arouse strong feelings in some people but they tend to be the ones who campaign against other forms of animal cruelty as well and are vocal on many issues. Mainly, people just think fox hunting is unpleasant. Probably because of the sport angle, which is inseparable from it.

Where we are, fox numbers haven't got worse since the hunting ban, they've got a lot better - I think the local gamekeepers shoot them, keeping numbers down. I know I haven't had a problem with them snaffling my chickens for a long time, even though I forget to shut them in at night now and then. I also think better for the fox a quick bullet from a gamekeeper than being ripped to shreds by dogs - and all those dickheads on horses do more damage to farmers fields than the good they claimed to do keeping vermin numbers down.

BrianButterfield Wed 26-Jun-13 07:07:08

The hunts, in full regalia, still seem to go on a lot and I know teenagers (from a rural comp) who go on them - dunno what they chase but banning fox hunting certainly hasn't stopped hunts!

pinkballetflats Wed 26-Jun-13 07:08:48

Wuldric - i really couldn't care less how to"rich" people live.

Banning fox hunting Imo still in agreeable with you you(and also apparently flags me up as a socialist confused ) There is something inherently disturbing about adults who think nothing of torturing a bring weaker than themselves for hours for fun.

However, keeping the fox population down through quick and relative pain free measures? I have no problem with that at all.

pinkballetflats Wed 26-Jun-13 07:09:44

I meant I agree with the fox hunting ban.

EugenesAxe Wed 26-Jun-13 07:19:45

I don't think the idea behind hunting (prolonged terror and a potentially nasty death) is something I could condone, but I'm not fluffy about animals outside of that, so I'd be quite happy to have councils arrange regular instant-death-through-guns type of culls.

catgirl1976 Wed 26-Jun-13 07:52:41

I love a good gallop across the countryside

What I don't love is animals being terrified, exhausted, dug out when they go to ground and ripped to pieces


HomageToCannelloni Wed 26-Jun-13 07:59:16

YABU. The biggest issue we have with foxes is people catching them in suburbia and dumping them in the countryside. We have had at least three instances of this in the last year here. The foxes tend to starve. There is evidently a suburban fox issue, but I can't see hunting in towns taking off. ;)
I have had chickens that free range for the last year and thus far have been very lucky and not lost a single one to a fox (you watch, now we will).
Being a country bumpkin I am fairly dispassionate about foxes, unless they eat my birds, but There are FAR more humane ways of dispatching a fox than hunting, perhaps if you had seen one torn to pieces by dogs having been chased to exhaustion you would feel differently.

HomageToCannelloni Wed 26-Jun-13 08:05:24

Foxes are vermin, old love. When they are killed by hounds they are killed rapidly and painlessly. It is another thing that most actual hunts do not result in a kill.

Rapidly and painlessly?? Being ripped apart alive? I suppose you are able to back that statement up with scientific evidence, right? grin

KittensoftPuppydog Wed 26-Jun-13 08:09:43

What about we get some of the local lads in south London, give them nice red hoodies, and let them chase the foxes down with their 'status' dogs. They could then rip the foxes to bits for their own amusement. I'm sure lots of followers would enjoy it too.
Why not?
Maybe because it's sick and disgusting.

SignoraStronza Wed 26-Jun-13 08:10:19

What hunting ban? wink As far as I'm aware, they carry on just as before anyway - just more careful not to get caught. Where I used to live (in the sticks), the hunt had artificial earths and their staff regularly fed the foxes to ensure enough sport for the bankers and police chiefs when they came down to their country residences for the weekend.

The hunting ban had made very little difference - only I expect that farmers are more likely to just shoot the foxes without ceremony and hours of preceeding torture.

TheFallenNinja Wed 26-Jun-13 08:18:36

The ban had nothing to do with foxes, it was only about one set not wanting another set to do what they wanted.

One set just had better lawyers.

catgirl1976 Wed 26-Jun-13 08:19:53

And a majority view Ninja

LessMissAbs Wed 26-Jun-13 08:26:12

I live in the countryside and passed a bit of wild ground with a notice that read 'fox control - keep dogs on leads'. I can only guess they are snaring foxes.

In which case I have to agree with you Oap, because fox hunting on horseback is effective at getting into those places guns cannot.

As for wealthy people doing it, I think rather its rural people. Would the posters who object to people spending their money on horses also object to rich people spending their money on luxury cars, drugs, exotic holidays, restaurants, etc? Or to people dressing up for a night on the town?

I think the ban was mire about controlling people, than fox welfare.

AmberLeaf Wed 26-Jun-13 08:34:32

Ive lived in SE London pretty much all of my life and there has always been lots of foxes.

I really don't think that the hunt ban has increased urban fox numbers somehow.

I don't think the ban was townies dictating to country folk either, there was plenty of hound hunt opposition in the country too.

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Wed 26-Jun-13 08:40:35

A lot more people keep chickens in urban areas now bet the foxes love that, I think they need regular culling but fox hunting is vicious

MrsLouisTheroux Wed 26-Jun-13 09:01:17

'Posh' land-owning folk turned what was a necessity for their farming staff (to keep fox numbers down) into a 'fun day out' many many years ago. The same goes with shooting birds out of the sky and fishing in the river on their land.
The 'posh folk' were playing at doing the hard work but were actually just showing off their wealth to their friends.

Fox numbers need to be kept down by farmers. All this rubbish about poor little fox families. They are vicious scavengers.

The 'sport' of fox hunting is outdated and not necessary. But ensuring fox numbers are not left to go out of control either in cities or in the countryside is.

LessMissAbs Wed 26-Jun-13 09:01:53

I'm always a bit puzzled re the argument against the colour of the coats worn out hunting. Do these posters also object to anyone wearing red elsewhere? Or just one group for class reasons?

I take it when they criticise 'rich people' for hunting, they are careful to ensure that their cars dont cost more than the average hunting horse? Do people realise how much horseshoes cost? You can buy a suitable one for under £1000 or a really good one for far more. Many horses are quite old and not worth anything any more. In rural areas, you can keep them at rented livery for £50 a month (thats what i pay, another £50 if you want a stable) and i feed and muck them out before work, as do most of ny horseowning friends. The rich horse owners i know dont hunt - they do dressage or showjumping, and even then the majority are just normal working people. The aristocracy are too busy you g to weddings and tennis matches nowadays to make it popular amongst that group.

i would also have thought it pretty obvious that you need to be on a horse to pursue a fox across country and you need other riders to pay subscriptions to make it viable, and its done in winter for even more obvious reasons.

ecclesvet Wed 26-Jun-13 09:05:06

Bear-baiting, dog-fighting, fox-hunting. Good riddance.

KittensoftPuppydog Wed 26-Jun-13 09:07:09

The class hatred thing is a total red herring.
The fact is that this barbaric practice continued for so long, ONLY because it's supporters are posh. Other disgusting activities are illegal.

MrsLouisTheroux Wed 26-Jun-13 09:09:54

Not sure about the price of 'horse' v 'car' debate! hmm
Owning a horse is a luxury in this day and age. They are not used to work the land. Agricultural machinery does that.
Times have moved on. Land rovers ( once a necessity just for farming folk) are now bought to pull horse trailers taking the horses (once used for work and transport) to dressage shows.

Triumphoveradversity Wed 26-Jun-13 09:12:04

No to fox hunting
Yes to humane cull of foxes

WorraLiberty Wed 26-Jun-13 09:20:58

It's not about class and it's not about's about being sick in the head and enjoying animal cruelty to get your kicks.

I feel exactly the same about any thugs of any background...wealthy or not.

A bunch of sickos on horseback who happen to have a few quid in the bank, or a bunch of sickos in hoodies watching a dog fight.

It's all the same to me.

Damnautocorrect Wed 26-Jun-13 09:24:40

Because lots and lots of dogs and horses hunting and chasing 1 fox to its death is going to make a difference to the urban fox problem?!
That poor fox literally running for its life must be terrified.
Now I'm not a foxes biggest fan but its just not a humane way of keeping numbers down.

hackmum Wed 26-Jun-13 09:45:44

At the risk of stating the obvious, foxes are only "vermin" from the point of view of humans. As far as the fox is concerned, it's just going about its business, trying to survive. Foxes don't go around actively trying to make life difficult for humans.

Foxes don't kill for fun - they sometimes kill food surplus to their requirements, storing it for later, which is a perfectly logical thing to do.

I always find it odd when people start applying moral judgements to animal behaviour.

Queen0fFeckingEverything Wed 26-Jun-13 09:53:39

Fox hunting made no difference to the urban fox population anyway hmm

And it was deffo a class issue. I mean, can you imagine the hoohah and outrage and wringing of hands if a crowd of youths in hoodies on bikes, led by a pack of baying staffie crosses in studded collars, were to chase a fox through the streets of London and then cheer in delight as they watched it being ripped to shreds?

Yet it was fine and dandy when the landed gentry did it in their posh coats on their posh horses hmm

Queen0fFeckingEverything Wed 26-Jun-13 09:54:47

That is to say, the fact it was ever considered legally acceptable is a class issue.

Being a sick in the head fucker who gets their kicks out of torture is not confined to any class.

LastTangoInDevonshire Wed 26-Jun-13 09:56:08

Fox-hunting does NOT keep the numbers down (they would have to be hunting 24/7 to do that). It is just the "unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable" !!

SamuelWestsMistress Wed 26-Jun-13 09:56:54

It's not so much the hunting ban, rather than the people who think they're cutesy fluffy little joyous things and ENCOURAGE them into their streets and gardens.

I think they're horrid, and am neither up nor down about hunting, but I think they need to be controlled.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 26-Jun-13 10:00:03

I can't remember who said it but I watched a comedian talking about fox hunting. He was making the very good point that as a method of pest control - it is ridiculous. He compared it to getting rid of mice in your house by dressing up in your sunday best and chasing a mouse round your kitchen with a pack of cats.

Let us not pretend that fox hunting was ever about efficient pest control.

Cheddars Wed 26-Jun-13 10:06:37

I never know whether to laugh or cry at these threads.
There is so much ill-informed hysteria spouted about these animals.

Foxes aren't vermin, they're wild animals. If they are getting into your bins, use a wheelie bin. They can't knock them over.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 10:19:28

SodaStreamy, re my comment about it being a part of the humane culling process... I was being ironic. If you look at my previous comments I am pretty much against fox hunting.

to those on their high horses (arf) about people denigrating the uniforms and the ceremony, etc; I think the point people are trying to make is that it is ALL about the pomp and absolutely Fuck All about sensibly keeping fox populations down. Show me some figures that back up your argument that hunting culls foxes more effectively than other methods and turn out wearing the aforementioned sweaty jeans and barbour jacket and your argument might have more sway. Or indeed that it has any effect on the urban fox populations.

And there is not a single person here who is against hunting foxes with a pack of dogs by horseback also saying that they don't need to be controlled. If it is proven that they are on the increase and that they are as much of a pest as they are percevied to be in cities, then most people would support a cull. However, it is interesting that if you look at council factsheets on urban foxes (a quick google on urban foxes throws up lots) they pretty much say feed them if you want to but don't get too close or interact with them in any way. If they were that much of a problem surely councils would not be putting that out there?

pinkballetflats Wed 26-Jun-13 10:21:40

Worral - I do wish there was a like button feature for posts. I agree...its all the ire no money watching pain and suffering to get your kicks is seriously twisted.

somebloke123 Wed 26-Jun-13 10:22:44

ImToo It would indeed be eccentric, but would you actually make it illegal for someone to dress up and run around with their cats in pursuit of mice? After all it doesn't make any difference to the mice and it may be fun for the (odd) person who does it.

I don't see how anyone who keeps a cat, which kills birds and mice, is justified in getting too exercised about fox hunting.

I'm reminded of the old saying that the reason why the puritans hated bear bating was not that it involved cruelty to the animals but that it gave pleasure to the people.

Eyesunderarock Wed 26-Jun-13 10:24:58

I approve whole-heartedly of the ban on foxhunting, hare coursing and badger baiting.
If you want to control vermin in towns, don't leave food unsecured, wheelie bins cut down on foxes and rats and seagulls gorging themselves. Take-aways and customers flinging the debris on the floor is a major problem in many areas.
If you need to cull, get a marksman/woman with a rifle.

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 10:26:36

round ere if a fox bites the head off a lamb (which they do, and not cos they are hungry, it is for fun) it cost the farmer £60 a pop.
hunting is not only for rich folk.
the Labour ban on hunting was not about animal welfare but was a sop to the traditional Labour voters.
all of those crying out about how evil it is to enjoy the hunt - would you also ban fishing? is it not seriously twisted to put a metal hook through a fishes mouth , tug it out, take a pic, and then throw the fish back - or is that not twisted cos the people doing it are not perceived as 'posh'?

WorraLiberty Wed 26-Jun-13 10:34:09

I hate fishing as a 'sport' too. I agree it's cruel and I've always said if fish could scream, most people probably wouldn't do it.

As for the farmers, of course they need the foxes culled, therefore they shoot them.

I needed to kill a house fly this morning so I whacked it with a newspaper - job done.

I didn't catch it and pull its legs and wings off one by one, whilst laughing and getting excited about it.

Foxes do not kill for fun or out of malice. Wild animals do not have a guaranteed next meal, so they will take the opportunity to kill all the chickens and then try to remove them or bury them for later, they would eat them all but are usually disturbed before they can take them all away.
If the chickens were wild they would fly into trees and the fox would only get the old or sick ones. My chickens however would not have the sense to fly high enough!

LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 10:36:17

I don't agree with recreational fishing either, which is done by lots of people, both rich and poor. If you are for hunting, are you also for fishing? Your point is what exactly?

Farmers controlling foxes on their land is not the same as a pack of people on horses with dogs catching and torturing one animal for the fun of it.

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 10:39:32

my point was that many folk who are knee jerk anti - fox hunting have never even thought about fishing being a blood sport and that is because it is a class issue.
was my point not clear? if not, my apologies.

Manchesterhistorygirl Wed 26-Jun-13 10:41:01

Fox hunting did nothing to keep the population under control, but the hunt is an ancient tradition that for the most part no one cared about before tony and his merry band of socialists came into power. It certainly was a class issue to ban it.

Fwiw I'm a country girl and don't like the practice of hunting with dogs, because you can't eat the end product. Hunting is actually good for some horses because of the exercise it gives them and we allow the hunt to cross out land. Our local hunt is a drag hunt and there are plenty of similar hunts out there.

Those who said owning a horse is a luxury, it is, but think of where all the spending on them goes. Money into the pockets of farmers, farriers, feed companies, local shows, etc. most of my customers aren't posh at all, they're normal people, but their love of their animals puts money into the local community. I hate that having a horse is seen as "posh" by people who think they should somehow tell others how to live their lives. How about I don't tell urbanites how to live their lives and they don't tell me how to live mine?

LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 10:44:01

good point Cat...if chickens didn't routinely have their wings clipped so that they can't fly away from predators when threatened, less chickens would be caught by foxes.

Foxes are opportunistic killers though and will kill when they can; I doubt very much that they see killing things as fun either; they are driven by a pretty string survival instinct. Why the insistence on ascribing human characteristics to animal that are doing the only thing they know how and that is to survive? It really does nothing to strengthen the argument for fox hunting.

juneau Wed 26-Jun-13 10:46:39

Hunting is not an elitist sport, that's the stupid thing. Blair and the loony left got the idea that only posh people hunt - and lots of posh people DO hunt - but actually a hunt is a chance for the whole village to get out in the countryside together. People without horses follow the hunt on foot and have a nice day out. I've never hunted, but members of my family do (and we're not particularly posh), and I've seen people from all walks of life join in the hunt.

As others have already said, fox hunting is a sport, not a serious way to cull foxes and FWIW I don't really agree with tearing a fox limb from limb - much better to shoot the bloody thing.

If there is a fox problem in your area it's much more likely to be down to squeezed council budgets cutting the humane culling program in your area via pest control officers.

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 10:50:15

lacka you asked me a direct question re my point, and when I answered it, ignored my response. For me, that is typical of the anti-fox hunting brigade.
i remember at uni there were all these labour voting class warriors who were anti fox hunting, typically after uni they would get a hair cut and go and work for ICI or some similar company.
it did amuse me.
they would use the union minibus to drive 300 miles to the VAle of Aylesbury for their sabbing, a nice soft target, cos if they had come face to face with a load of Welsh farmers on horseback, they would have poo-ed their pants.
hypocrites to a man/woman.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 10:52:50

but most people here are against all blood "sports". No-one is saying that they support anything other than culling in as humane a way as possible. The fishing thing, is, in the context of this argument, irrelevant.

notanyanymore Wed 26-Jun-13 10:53:34

The fox hunting ban hasn't actually stopped foxes being hunted anyway, there's lots of loop holes that are used. I doubt its had much influence on the increase of foxes in urban areas.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 10:54:43

Oh, was there a time limit on my just posted response?


ReallyTired Wed 26-Jun-13 10:57:04

Fox hunting is not an efficent way of culling foxes. Prehaps in medievil times it was the most effective way and kinder than traps. If you wanted to kill lots of foxes humanely you would have one man on foot with one highly trained dog to help him track down the scent and shoot the fox.

Pest control are practical people and are as quick as possible.

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 10:57:30

The fishing thing, is, in the context of this argument, irrelevant
not at all - is it not just as 'cruel'? yet it doesn't raise the same levels of passion at all - and that is because the argument is about class, about urban vs rural, nothing to do with animal welfare. A valid argument I think, not one to be simply ignored or dismissed if you find it uncomfortable.

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 10:59:08

and lacka please could you clarify your post of 10.54?
who is a twat exactly?

Eyesunderarock Wed 26-Jun-13 11:01:33

ReallyTired, Foxhunting isn't a medieval sport.
In medieval and Tudor times, hunting was a sport, but you tended to eat the deer, boar or whatever. Likewise with falconry or hunting with dogs.
Fox were trapped for the pelts to use as decoration on clothing.

Fox-hunting is really an 18th century creation.

Eyesunderarock Wed 26-Jun-13 11:04:04

Burberry queen, are you saying that Welsh farmers on horseback are thugs who would take the law into their own hands when faced with sabs?

LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 11:05:53

"and lacka please could you clarify your post of 10.54?
who is a twat exactly?"


"lacka you asked me a direct question re my point, and when I answered it, ignored my response. For me, that is typical of the anti-fox hunting brigade..."

you posted about fishing...I posted what's your posted about it being a class issue...I responded to a point Cat had made, then saw your post about class, went for a slash, picked my nose, formulated a response to your point and then posted it...and saw you had posted the above, hence my post of 10.54

and you would be the twat.

I hope that is now clear.

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 11:08:55

so i posted something you don't agree with and so you called me a 'twat' or in other words a 'cunt' - thanks a lot, good level of argument! I can see you must have had a good education!
eyes - more possibly than the Vale of Aylesbury,yes.

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 11:09:42

once again lacks the anti's have shown their level grin

LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 11:13:03

Now you are bieng ridiculous as well. I have said I do not agree with recreational fishing, and now I am ignoring it as I find the issue uncomfortable? hmm

It's irrelevant in that the argument here is about the effectiveness of hunting as a means of controlling fox populations.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 11:16:09

No, I called you a twat for stamping your feet and waaahing about me not responding to your point in a timeframe that suited you.

If you need to control the fox population then so be it, in as humane and stress free a way as possible.

You don't need to make a sport out of it.

Don't forget some hunts were breeding foxes so they had something to chase.

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 11:20:10

read back if that is what you think - you posted at 10.44 to which i responded at 10.50.
you obviously have comprehension problems.
bye, and i am not lowering myself to shouting childish insults.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 26-Jun-13 11:22:07


So dissing my level of eduation isn't a childish insult?


WorraLiberty Wed 26-Jun-13 11:27:26

one person on this large thread calls another one a twat and someone posts, once again lacks the anti's have shown their level


Why not just stick to the argument you're losing?

You think taking pleasure from torturing and ripping small animals apart is a perfectly healthy pass time.

The 'antis' think it's thuggish behaviour displayed by sick minded individuals.

There, the thread's back on track.

it's just a non argument. if the fox population, deers, badgers etc need to be controlled then any humane society will make that way as low key, humane and dignified as possible? surely?

Eyesunderarock Wed 26-Jun-13 11:32:39

Worra grin

There is no possible justification for bear-baiting, dog-fighting, hare coursing, wife-beating and fox hunting in the 21st century. Society evolves, hopefully upwards aspiring to better things.

QueenofallIsee Wed 26-Jun-13 11:33:17

I live in a rural area and married into a farming family, the hunt is a longstanding tradition. I do not feel strongly on the issue of hunting but the hunt was never a means of pest control - when they are pests we shoot them. Urban fox issues are about ready food sources

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 11:34:58

grin worra - the voice of reason

tmae Wed 26-Jun-13 11:35:56

No the fox hunting ban was not a bad idea, humans don't seem to understand if you leave bins out (and to be fair this is a council issue, and often to do with poor waste disposal by businesses) not in sturdy containers foxes will thrive on the throw out of people. This is why the population has accelerated, also many people in suburban areas feed foxes also making sure the foxes thrive whether on purpose and inadvertantly.

Remember the whole scandal of foxes being supported and bred in order for them to be killed - fox hunting a moronic and barbaric thing to do and even if you were someone who believed in culling (which again, no proof it actually helps numbers, the animals get stronger due to less competition for food and produce more and healthier young) fox hunting is a disgusting way to kill any animal.

Councils need to enforce a better standard of tidying up after people to ensure numbers don't get out of control.

WildlingPrincess Wed 26-Jun-13 11:38:30

I hate foxes, they terrify the life out of me! We have loads of the cunts precious creatures here too. I think they need controlling and the population bringing down, but fox hunting just seems barbaric to me. Surely there's nicer ways to cull?

SodaStreamy Wed 26-Jun-13 11:47:55

Manchester tony and his merry band of socialists, err since when was tony blair a socialist!

It was not a class issue to ban foxhunting , it was an animal welfare issue

Bizarerrly I imagine Tony Blair has probably engaged in a few blood sports himself

And simply because something is an ancient tradition is not a good enough reason to pursue it in the here and now. As I said before 'fagging' is an ancient tradition in our male boarding schools but that does not right or should be protected simply because 'it's something we have always done'

The socialist angle has been wheeled out here a few times in this thread which I find odd...the argument seems to be 'well if your anti hunt you're a paid up flag waving socialist, how strange confused

cantspel Wed 26-Jun-13 11:55:03

I like foxes and dont think they are vermin. They have just as much right to exist as we do.

I can accept a farmer shooting them if they threaten his animals but i wont accept anyone from any class or income bracket thinking they have a right to kill them for sport.

There is loads of urban foxes where i am and can see 3 or 4 most night when i am driving home. They are diving bins and eating food waste people have not disposed of properly. It is us who have made the problem by our own laziness and dirty habits in disposing of waste.

squoosh Wed 26-Jun-13 12:00:15

I’m certainly not pro hunting by any strectch of the imagination but I don’t think anyone can honestly say that the hunting ban was brought into force solely for reasons of animal welfare. Of course it was seen to be a class issue, and I can see why, a lot of braying, chinless toffs spending a spiffing day hunting down small animals. What’s not to hate?

But I just don’t understand how people can feel so emotional about fox welfare and yet happily scoff factory farmed meat, which is a bigger cruelty that effects far more animals. Given the choice I’d rather live as a wild fox and be mauled to death by hounds than live as a battery chicken.

I’m still anti fox hunting, just think it’s way down the list of animal welfare issues to be concerned about.

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 12:02:36

^ good point ^ cantspel - it is the overflowing bin that makes them so bold - remember once walking down East St in Walworth after the market and there was this fox eating stuff from the top of a bin that just did not give a toss how close I got! I even took a pic of him! it is the rich pickings that brings the ffoxes to the cities IME, plus of course the lack of farmers with guns.

TheSmallClanger Wed 26-Jun-13 12:02:39

The urban fox population swell is down to the vast amounts of improperly-disposed food waste, often from fast food outlets, available for them to feed on. The more food, the less competition for it, the larger the fox population gets. It is that simple.

Small birds are also their natural prey, so it is futile to expect them not to kill captive poultry.

I do not believe most stories about foxes predating upon cats. The average domestic mog is almost as big as a medium fox, is well-equipped to defend itself, and has the advantage of being able to climb well. A larger dog, with its bigger jaw, could take down a cat, but most missing cats are victims of road traffic.

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 12:03:44

agree with squoosh - other than the chinless toff bit.

squoosh Wed 26-Jun-13 12:07:00

Molly Dineen made a really fascinating documentary a few years ago called The Lie of the Land, about the effect of the fox hunting ban on rural Britain.

It really opened my eyes to the hypocrisy in this country, we have overwhelming sentimentality towards some animals and treat other with mindless brutality. I'm not a a vegetarian either just in case you think I have a veggie axe to grind. smile

Its focus too on rural poverty was also quite shocking.

SodaStreamy Wed 26-Jun-13 12:08:48

good points squoosh

but (there's always a but) people who farm and eat meat don't make it a sport and want to defend they right to chase a defenceless animal to death for fun

quoteunquote Wed 26-Jun-13 12:13:02

The thing is we now have far fewer foxes in the countryside than when hunting was allowed,

because when the ban came in, the shooting started, it is really easy to shoot a fox, the reason landowners left them before the ban, was so the hunt could always easily find a fox,

now that the hunt do not "want" a fox, the landowners shoot any spotted,

the chap alongside us shot over eighty in six months,

I am no fan of fox hunting,

I am happy to shoot anything for stock management (we cull the deer), and if we are going to eat it, but I don't eat fox so I don't need to hunt it,

I have never lost a single bird or other live stock to foxes, but then I can build a pen to keep foxes in, so I build to keep them out.

Because you don't tend to shot foxes in the urban environment, they are flourishing, where as the countryside numbers are right down.

I find foxes handy for keeping rabbit numbers down, they do real damage, unfortunately not everyone agrees, so rural fox numbers are in real decline.

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 12:14:53

people who farm and eat meat don't make it a sport and want to defend they right to chase a defenceless animal to death for fun
most people who eat factory farmed meat and battery eggs have not even given it a passing thought.

catgirl1976 Wed 26-Jun-13 12:17:33

It's not a class issue or a country v town issue. It's simply that some all sane people do not feel that killing an animal by hunting it with dogs is humane or justifiable.

I have horses. I go to the Polo. I did dressage, show jumping and eventing. I know lots of farmers. Blah, blah

I still don't like fox hunting. It's inhumane.

I don't care if Jordan does it or the Queen. It's still wrong.

TheSmallClanger Wed 26-Jun-13 12:17:35

Rural poverty is down to pressures on farming, and the increasing centralisation of work opportunities in big towns, meaning people can't live rurally and economically.

The number of people employed by hunts is/was insignificant compared to many other industries that supported whole communities.

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 12:20:03

i might disagree with that smallclanger as there was a knock on effect in areas such as Exmoor for the hotels and pubs as well as hiring stables etc.

catgirl1976 Wed 26-Jun-13 12:26:26

Oh the rural poverty argument.

Yes. Because all those horses have vanished now. So the farrier has nothing to shoe, the livery yards are empty, the vets has had to close.

Because no one drag hunts instead and before the ban hunting was all people used their horses for. All year round in fact. So now it's banned there is just no use for them.

Bollocks hmm

And I say that as a horse owner who knows most of the local hunt community very well sadly.

There has been almost no financial impact.

boschy Wed 26-Jun-13 12:26:29

My thoughts, for what they are worth:

1. the ban was about class not animal welfare, and as someone said upthread, a waste of time and money and also diverted attention from other far more serious issues.

2. the ban has affected rural economies - livery businesses, farriers, feed merchants, pubs/hotels, etc etc etc

3. many of the sabs were as vicious as they claimed the hunters to be.


4. humane culling, ie by a trained marksman is a far kinder alternative to hunting in terms of population control (NOT traps!)

5. I hate foxes, they have had too many of my chickens and rabbits over the years despite Alcatraz style enclosures - you need to make just one tiny mistake and Foxy Loxy will strike.

So I am on the fence - country girl, rural economies suffer greatly anyway; but dont like cruelty!

boschy Wed 26-Jun-13 12:28:04

ha, catgirls post pisses on mine then! thing is, I do know people whose livelihoods have suffered as a result of the ban, yes they are trying to diversify into other areas, but if you dont have a thriving drag hunt then the hunt-related people suffer.

squoosh Wed 26-Jun-13 12:35:52

The poverty I referred to was more in relation to those at the bottom of the hunting food chain, there was one sad old guy who used to make his living collecting animal cadavers from farmers and selling them on as food for the hounds.

My heart is not bleeding for vets or stable owners.

catgirl1976 Wed 26-Jun-13 12:36:44

The number of people whose incomes depended solely or largely on the hunts is pretty minimal though. I am thinking maybe hunt kennel hands...after that I am struggling. Everyone else involved does something else (farriers, hunt masters etc) and hunting was just an extra activity.

There were people who suffered financially when slavery was abolished. Doesn't mean it wasn't right to do it.

Not that I am comparing fox hunting to slavery, except in so much that it has no place in a civilized society

LouiseSmith Wed 26-Jun-13 12:38:14

The fox population isn't growing! We are!! We have taken over all the space on earth that is in habitable. Do you know what would stop foxes tearing up your bin bags. Putting them in a container, where animals can not get to.

It drives me absolutely barmy that people think killing something because it behaves as an animal is programmed to is okay. By all means lets turn our attention to naughty toddlers in supermarkets next!!!


catgirl1976 Wed 26-Jun-13 12:41:52

Loving the thought of someone chasing my DS round sainsbos on horseback grin

Might stop his tantrums..........

burberryqueen Wed 26-Jun-13 12:42:18

people think killing something because it behaves as an animal is programmed to is okay
foxes do need culling somehow though Louise, as it has no natural predator in the UK, perhaps once they did but not any more.

TheSmallClanger Wed 26-Jun-13 12:42:34

Squoosh, that is a tiny number of people.

Also, there IS a market to be exploited outside the hunting world - interest in BARF feeding of dogs and cats has grown, and there is a demand for meat for pets/working animals, if you can tap into the demand-supply chain.

I buy freezer packs of meat offcuts, sold for animal consumption, from a butcher. I don't ask where it comes from and my dogs aren't bothered.

squoosh Wed 26-Jun-13 12:45:10

Oh I know it's a tiny amount of people but it was so moving, it had never occured to me that was even a way to make a living.

I fully support the fox hunt ban I just wish people could show as much consideration to other animals too.

TheSmallClanger Wed 26-Jun-13 12:46:44

It isn't a way to make a living. It's a way to make a tiny amount of money that's probably less than benefits might pay.

Fuel prices affect rural dwellers (and I am one) more than anything to do with foxes.

SodaStreamy Wed 26-Jun-13 12:58:54

boscy so labour banned foxhunting as a class war issue to sock it to the tories and cover up more important issues (iraq war?) hmm

The ban has NOT affected rural communities can drag hunt, no one is stopping you from doing that, or just act like normal with horse and take it out for a gallop, no need to be pursuing a fox?

The people who tend to want this to be a 'class' issue 9 times out of 10 are those of think they belong to a 'class' and a better class than those who oppose a barbic tradition

SodaStreamy Wed 26-Jun-13 13:04:59

for those of you wanting hunting to go ahead why not volunteer to roll about in fox poo and wear a fox skin and run over the countryside yourself to be chased and ripped apart by a pack of dogs

boschy Wed 26-Jun-13 13:12:16

sodastreamy I know 6 people directly affected by the ban in this small rural area alone. sorry if you dont like that, but it is the case.

I also said that I didnt support hunting because I do think it is cruel. on the other hand, of those 6 people, 4 of them have primary school age children and mum/dad having less work has had a direct impact.

children top foxes in my view. and if I had a shotgun licence I would shoot the fuckers that predate on my chickens, rabbits and I believe one cat.

Cheddars Wed 26-Jun-13 13:17:07

Just to turn every bodies argument on its head.

The fox population is very stable

There is no mass explosion of fox numbers in rural or urban areas.

Fine, some people don't like seeing wild animals roaming through their gardens, but do some research before spouting ignorant nonsense online.

This is such a Daily Mail thread. angry

SilverOldie Wed 26-Jun-13 13:50:25

Fox hunting is/was abhorrent as are those who do it for 'sport'.

If you were a fox, how would you prefer to die? A quick shot to the head or by being chased for a couple of hours until there's hardly a breath left in your body and subsequently being ripped apart by dogs?

No animal deserves to be hunted.
Imagine the terror the poor things go through when they are being hunted.

Chivetalking Wed 26-Jun-13 14:11:46

Hunting animals with dogs has no place in a civilised society.


Elquota Wed 26-Jun-13 14:17:04


WillowKnicks Wed 26-Jun-13 14:22:08

I have horses, I have land, chickens & cats, therefore, I should support fox hunting according to some posters.

Well, wrong, I don't...I find it despicable. I cannot abide the pro hunters hiding behind the argument of tradition/class/jealousy/fox control etc etc...just come out & be bloody honest, that you ENJOY chasing a terrified animal for miles & miles, until it is exhausted & then ripped apart by a pack of dogs.

4yoniD Wed 26-Jun-13 14:24:30

Fox's breed according to the amount of food available. Hunting ban = more foxes = less food each = less babies = less foxes = more food yada yada yada. Stable population.

If you want less foxes, stop people feeding them - on purpose or accidentally (no bin bags left around etc). They will disperse elsewhere in the short term, and breed less in the long term. So less foxes.

Where I live there are no foxes (none at all, it's an Island) and garbage bags are ripped open frequently by gulls and cats (mainly) - so YABU.

Ehhn Wed 26-Jun-13 14:24:46

"But I just don’t understand how people can feel so emotional about fox welfare and yet happily scoff factory farmed meat, which is a bigger cruelty that effects far more animals. Given the choice I’d rather live as a wild fox and be mauled to death by hounds than live as a battery chicken."

I agree with this poster. Also, one point that is unseemly and unpleasant in one way but doing good in another re hunting - it becomes survival of the fittest, meaning, strong, healthy, clever foxes get away but the old/sick are caught. Hounds are a quick, if brutal, death rather than slowly starving as too old/toothless or slowly wasting away with disease. Plus it halts the spread of disease amongst the fox population. So yes, life is nasty brutish and sometimes short- but Mother Nature can be a whole lot nastier when it comes to old and ill wild animals.

LtEveDallas Wed 26-Jun-13 15:04:02

Fox population has not been affected by the hunting ban. There are no more or no less foxes about in rural areas than there was before.

What there ARE is less rural areas. People in towns and cities have encroached on the foxes historic hunting grounds with their new build boxes, and briging their 'all you can eat buffets' in the form of wheely bins and the foxes have rubbed their little paws together and taken full advantage.

In my younger years I played a gleeful part in disrupting many a hunt. I'd do it all again if it was still required and I still had the ability.

I was overjoyed with the ban on hunting with foxes, and would be gutted if it was bought back in.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 26-Jun-13 15:15:38

You can't make a cohesive group out of either 'town people' or 'country people'. As others have said, there are plenty of pro-hunting townies and anti-hunting country people. So that's an empty premise.

And yes, the urban fox population is pretty stable. Also, maybe other people have more timid cats but the cats and foxes in my neighbourhood, while not exactly friends, seem to have reached some sort of understanding whereby they just leave each other alone.

I think hunting IS a class issue, and that's really why it pisses me off so much. Where are the vocal and entitled people demanding that badger-baiting be made legal again? Or cock-fighting? Is it a coincidence that these are predominantly working-class pursuits, as opposed to hunting?

Pro-hunting people often can't even get their argument straight. Sometimes you hear 'It's an essential tool for keeping the fox population down', other times 'Most of the time the fox gets away unharmed.' So which is it?

Lastly, as for 'tradition', fuck that.

Want2bSupermum Wed 26-Jun-13 15:16:31

While fox hunt ban might not have changed the numbers what my father has experienced is the opposite. The number of fox sightings has increased steadily and the attacks are getting to a crisis point for my father. Since March he has had two cats ripped apart, lost 3 chickens and a horse was attacked.

I don't know where the government get their numbers from to say that the number of foxes hasn't increased. They are not counting them in Cheshire.

I was never for banning fox hunting because all it did was chase foxes away. I think it made it harder for them to settle in one area. Fox hunting isn't nice but neither is an animal being left to die slowly after being attacked by a fox. One of the cats was alive when my father found it and he had to wait for a vet to arrive for it to be put down. My father has a bolt which enables him to put down a horse in an emergency but he couldn't use it on the cat nor could he do the humane thing and put the poor cat out of their misery. My father isn't in an urban area. It took an hour for the vet to arrive.

somewheresomehow Wed 26-Jun-13 15:25:35

so ripping an animal apart is painless is it wuldric
how the fuck would you know
it might be for the frigging huntsmen not for the poor old fox it aint
and if most hunts dont end with a kill whats the point in having a hunt then ?

ilovexmastime Wed 26-Jun-13 15:33:25

I live in the country and I support the ban. Not because it's a class issue, but because I feel that as a country we have moved on from finding 'sport' in killing animals (disclaimer: fine to kill animals if you then eat them) and fox hunting is the last 'sport' to go.

SodaStreamy Wed 26-Jun-13 15:37:48


*I know 6 people directly affected by the ban in this small rural area alone. sorry if you dont like that, but it is the case.

I also said that I didnt support hunting because I do think it is cruel. on the other hand, of those 6 people, 4 of them have primary school age children and mum/dad having less work has had a direct impact.*

Tell me then how have these six people been directly effected by the fox hunt ban?

And how have the primary school age children been unduly effected by a fox hunting ban?

You say they have less exactly do they have less work? If it's from hosting hunts and charging the horseback rider an admittance fee or club subscribition , well good, no one should profit out of an barbic act to hunt and kill animals

boschy Wed 26-Jun-13 23:08:48

ok soda here's my answer.

one is a farrier; he has lost about 30% of his business because people have moved horses elsewhere.
Two are livery owners - hunting people pay more than pony owners, therefore loss of hunt = loss of income.
Two used to provide private catering for hunting people, they are now looking for other ways to keep their business going.
the sixth is quite specialist, he fits saddles to horses. yes there are other horses he can fit saddles to, but not everyone is prepared to pay for his services.

4 out of these 6 have primary aged children; do you not think that a fall in income will have an effect? like when new uniform/school shoes/trips etc are on the agenda?

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 00:05:56

There's actually a reduction in fox numbers in Scotland since the ban, as foxes tend to be shot now. Or I think in one part of my rural area (we have no hunt) they are being snared.

Predation is a natural death for a fox, except we have eradicated their natural predators.

As for the person who suggested I simply take my horse out for a gallop. You really dont have a clue, do you? Over whose land? I will probably hunt my young horse this winter, because hunting at speed with other horses over mixed country is something you can't replicate and will be good for his showjumping.

Anyway, I can't get a gallop any more as much of my local area has been covered with new build housing estates. Some of them even have cats...some of them probably eat meat...

Increasingly though, this is becoming an overcrowded island of namby pambies, its not really much of an environment for anyone to be happy in, so respect for other peoples interests and ancient traditions is probably too much to expect.

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 00:07:52

And by the way, one of the more interesting ways a fox hunts is by charming. Do any of the antis know what this is?

olidusUrsus Thu 27-Jun-13 09:39:22

Prepare yourselves for a long one.

Foxes do not hunt for 'pleasure', and nor do cats, because that's been brought up too. It is human engineering of livestock that enables foxes to kill so many. Foxes cache their prey - which means they take the lot and plan to bury it for later. When the fox finds itself in an overstuffed hen house there is more than it could ever consume but, true to instinct, the fox kill the lot and plan to cache it. Before the fox can return for the rest, humans have usually found the remains of the kill and prevent the fox getting the lot by one means or another, usually by removing the dead.

It has been noted that better animal husbandry is more effective in protecting livestock than killing foxes is.

We, and that is zoologists, only know of one other animal than man who kills for 'pleasure', and that's dolphins. It was thought that chimps did it too, but it turns out they kill for territorial gain.

Unsurprisingly or surprisingly, depending on how much you've read, fox numbers have not boomed since the ban. Around 425,000 fox cubs are born each year and enough are culled or die naturally without hunting that the population is not growing. It's thought that packs contributed 5% of fox mortalities, roughly 23,000 foxes a year. Roughly half of those would have been cubs, killed (by dogs or for practice, or both) before the main hunting season. It's likely that any survivors, now outcasts, failed to find territory and died anyway.

The cost of foxes to farmers through livestock killings was £12 million a year. However since foxes mainly feed on rabbits, who cause over £100 million worth of damage a year, you could argue that farmers will suffer more (shock horror) without foxes. But why not just cull rabbits too? Or we could just let nature work it out for free, genius.

There was a temporary ban in (I think) 2001 when we had the foot & mouth outbreak. Zoologists used the opportunity to see how fox numbers were affected after there was no hunting on their territory. There was no change. They also looked at the control of fox populations in commercial forestry by gunmen. They found that the more foxes were there, more were successfully killed in the hunting season (autumn and winter). However, no matter how many were killed in season, numbers always replenished in spring. So, we can conclude that hunts (and on a national level, culling, because we know that foxes will just restock with new young) are not an effective means of control.

There is no evidence to suggest foxes were killed swiftly by dogs. Most post-mortems done on what was left of hunted foxes showed that death was caused by multiple injuries and not from blood loss due to a neck bite from a trained animal. There is also no evidence to suggest that dogs picked off sick or weak foxes, it is far more likely that cubs were targeted.

You may be surprised to know that it is still legal to send one, lone terrier down a fox den to flush it out. It's limited to one dog because of concerns that more than one will do lots of damage to other wildlife's habitat, namely, bird habitats. The welfare of the dog and fox is left to be judged by the supervising gamekeeper who is under obligation to recall his dog if either party becomes distressed.

The hunting ban has 0 to do with urban foxes. Hunting had 0 to do with urban foxes. Urban foxes are not 'flushed out' of the countryside by swelling numbers, fox populations have never been high enough to warrant that. Urban foxes are such a problem because human homes were built on their dens and now you are in their territory. Why would they leave their territory? Why should they leave, when easily accessed bin bags are filled so full with food? The answer lies much the same as it does with rural foxes and livestock husbandry - it's humans who could manage waste and disposal better to contain the issue. By killing the fox, you make room for a new one. By containing your waste, the foxes will vacate in search of food.

This is a short epic and doesn't even scratch the surface of the studies I have read. There are short snippets of lots of different points, because lots of different points have been raised over the last 7 or so pages.

I may return for a lurk but I doubt I will post on this topic again, I'm not sure what more I can add without writing another novel. If anyone's interested I can PM you the names of the authors whose studies I have read.

Oh shit, this really is an epic. Fuck.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 27-Jun-13 09:49:05

When Is a Fox Charming?

"An animal is said to be “charming” when it is prancing around, doing somersaults, acting silly, or just doing something very different from what it usually does.

Scientists used to think that when a fox acted this way, it was trying to get the attention of the animals it liked to eat. They thought it wanted them to gather around it like an audience and watch while it put on his little act.

When the animals were so interested in what it was doing that they weren’t watching out for danger, it would reach out and grab one for dinner.Today, many scientists have changed their minds. They now think that when animals are “charming,” they are just playing for the fun of it.

If their playing attracts an audience, and the playing animal suddenly stops and attacks one of the watchers, it is just a spur-of-the-moment decision and not something planned"

Not hunting...taking advantage of a ready meal hmm They aren't nearly as cunning as people think; they are animals driven by instinct like we are (though I can't help think that the instinct of the "pros" (arf) is a little fucked up if they drive a scared defenceless animal for several hours before ripping it to shreds. At least a fox has the decency to kill for survival)
And you can exercise your horse without the need to rip a defencless animal to shreds. I cannot believe that you think exercising an animal is an excuse for being so barbaric. And as fir the argument about saving an old or ill animal from a prolonged death. I am utterly shock that people think this is justification.

I never really paid much attention to fox hunting before reading this thread; it didn't sit well with me, though each to their own etc, but the attitudes of the (thankfully few) on here has horrified me

LackaDAISYcal Thu 27-Jun-13 09:59:48

good post olidisUrsus smile

olidusUrsus Thu 27-Jun-13 10:10:27

Ta. I tried wink

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 10:40:55

Charming by foxes is I think a sign if quite advanced hunting techniques. Thank you for posting such a detailed description from tge internet Lackal. I haven't hunted much but its one of the few things I picked up from it. There is so much stuff I dont know, so many traditions and knowledge being lost so we can sit in our housing estates, feeling smug.

Foxes are wasteful hunters, in that they tend to kill a whole coop.of chickens rather than the one they intend to eat, and usually a lamb bitten by a fox will die eventually due to the shock to its nervous system.

That is part of their nature as a species and does'nt make them 'good' or 'bad'.

I certainly think hunting is preferable to snaring, except now in Scotland its less likely healthy foxes will survive.

I found some of ignorance about farming on her shockingly ignorant - the notion that hunting goes on all year round, that you can just gallop a horse in a farmers field at random instead, the total ignorance of hunt businesses or how good an education it is for horse and rider. So many people now dont even have a knowledge of which plants are dangerous to ruminants, how hay is made and what cuts are best, how to make a poultice for a wound out of bran. They are too busy with their class hatred (most of the hunts I've been on aren't full of posh people at all). In fact, its relatively easy to hire a horse (a hireling), phone up the secretary and pay the day subscription to join a hunt. That's more inclusive than a lot of sports.

Its just the way this country is going. So many people are intolerant and class obsessed, while ignorant of what they are doing themselves. I do wish the same people would be as active over other issues of animal cruelty, such as live long distance transportation of animals and halal killing. But that presumably wouldn't appease their political, class leanings, disguised behind emotive words about hunting.

And OP, the fox population is probably getting out of control in urban areas, and culls might be necessary, alternatively people may just get used to living with ever bolder fox populations. Male foxes tend to have a very distinctive smell, its not pleasant. Again, I doubt that most antis gave ever been close enough to a fox to recognise it.

Wellwobbly Thu 27-Jun-13 10:47:48


The awful thing about the hunting ban is that is was not about foxes. It wasn't even about toffs. It wasn't about the countryside and it wasn't about cruelty.

It was about legislating how people THINK. It was the first of our recent thoughtcrimes, and for that it was a terrible, terrible law.

Biologically, protecting apex predators causes havoc amongst the prey species below them. Badgers are overprotected, and there are far too many of them. Next time you see a report about nightingales, bumblebees, hedgehogs etc populations plummeting, think badger.

[This doesn't apply to country foxes because they are mostly shot and foxhunting really, really was about people galloping around the countryside. But regarding urban foxes they are protected because they are a human environment, and you are getting the chaos described by the OP]

sameoldIggi Thu 27-Jun-13 10:47:50

I think making a sport out of anything's death is just wrong.

Latara Thu 27-Jun-13 10:47:53

I live in a semi-rural area but there never were any fox hunts here; i think the proliferation of foxes is due to the encroachment of the town onto their natural habitat.

Lots of people leave out all kinds of junk food for ''the birds'' on my estate and as a result we've got several fairly tame foxes.

I disagree with the concept of hunting any animal with dogs until it's exhausted; there are kinder ways of controlling the populations of vermin animals.

It is worrying to hear that they can kill cats as there are many much-loved pet cats round here. So far the local cats and foxes seem to tolerate each other although my cat actually confronted and chased a couple of foxes which scared me in case they turn on her.

Owllady Thu 27-Jun-13 10:49:00

well as someone who lives on rural farmland, I can tell you from my understanding, that people who live in the country shoot foxes that they see on their land. I don't as I don't have a gun

Also stoats and weasels seem to kill more chickens and ducks, for pleasure, than foxes - here anyway- foxes seem to kill more game.

Just from my observation. I am a previous townie grin I have never seen a fox in any of fields round here by, nor my garden. i do smell them sometimes though

Owllady Thu 27-Jun-13 10:51:35

boschy is right, it has affected local economies, it would be foolish to think otherwise. Even rural tailors have been affected

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 11:01:53

And what the zoologist has failed to mention in a rather biased treatise is the eradication of the fox's natural predators in the UK. Hence they will breed to numbers that the environment can sustain, and adaptation means that urban fox numbers are booming.

That said, we do also have more urban areas than before. The UK is a very high density country.

The zoologist has also failed to discuss how well hunting fits into the ecosystem. How it tends to let healthy young foxes escape and so improve the population, how it can target so called rogue foxes which tend to be the old or diseased who attack stock in certain areas because they are ineffective in hunting rabbits, how mounted followers ensure funds for the hunt and how farmer cooperation helps gel together communities, the work the hunt does in maintaining field boundaries, coverts and in dispatching ill animals, the bloodlines of the working dogs, the fact that mounted followers can go places that non mounted followers cannot (ever seen a quad bike jump a hedge?), and so on. There is a lot of knowledge that is being lost, but then the UK is increasingly becoming a poorer environment to live in for many reasons.

I have no remit in persuading people to my way of thinking, but I do hope that people can educate themselves beyond one politically motivated viewpoint or their own limited experience. I can hunt here in Scotland much as before the ban, although fields are bigger. i dont hunt much because I hate the cold, but plan to do it to educate a young horse this winter a few times. Its more popular here than before the ban, possibly because people dont like being told what to think or do in ignorance - perhaps zoologists have a theory about that.

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 11:19:55

LessMiss. I grew up in an area with a very famous hunt. I saw it first hand. You obviously have exerience, so have I.

How it tends to let healthy young foxes escape and so improve the population. Except the time I actually watched as the hunt stumbled upon a vixen with her new cubs and tore them all to shreds Or the time that a local landlords 2 pet cats were set upon by the hounds during a rest stop

how mounted followers ensure funds for the hunt and how farmer cooperation helps gel together communities Not in my area. The community was torn apart by the hunt - we even had local police officers 'taking sides'

the bloodlines of the working dogs *Versus the amount of beagles that went to rescue or were 'culled' by the RSPCA following the ban, because the 'owners' didn't want them and didn't care what happened to them. My sister had two that were supposedly untrainable and couldn't become pets. Well that was bollocks.

ever seen a quad bike jump a hedge?), No, but marked 'runners' can. You don't have to use quad bikes. It's what we did when we were disrupting the hunt and it was wonderfully successful.

A decent drag hunt can be just as exciting for the horses. They don't care about an animal being torn to pieces at the end of it. They just want to run, and can. It's the HUMANS that want the blood.

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 11:22:55

Sameoliggi - so you are veggie then, or only eat locally sourced, killed meat, and are not turning a blind eye to animals transported hundreds of miles to the end of their short lives, terrified and confused, with injuries and broken bones not uncommon, only to be separated from their herd, shitting themselves in fear while watching others of their species die before them?

I take it you've never eaten a cheap burger in your life (I've had one and thankfully it put me off years ago) and you dont drink milk, produced by separating young calves from their distressed mothers to go for neat after having hardly any life?

I take it you supported the ban on fur farming, so that the fashion industry now exclusively sources ita fur from unregulated countries that skin animals alive?

I take it you walk to work, lest a wild animal die under your wheels? I take it you live in an ancient house, not a new build whose development has torn up and displaced and caused the deaths of thousands of animals and their ecosystem?

Why specify foxhunting out of all animal cruelty, when by voting with your own feet you could do so much good for animal welfare?

Latara Thu 27-Jun-13 11:23:08

I agree that for the local cats a foxhunt can be just as dangerous as foxes.

olidusUrsus Thu 27-Jun-13 11:23:11

"The zoologist"? Pardon? Should I be referring to you as "the scot"?

Foxes have two wild predators in the UK: badgers and eagles. And what eradicated the foxes other wild predators in the UK, exactly? Humans.

The zoologist failed to mention... it tends to let healthy young foxes escape and so improve the population. But I did mention that there is no evidence to suggest that sick or weak foxes are targeted by hounds or hunts.

Foxes are wasteful hunters

I previously explained the reason behind their perceived 'wasteful' nature.

people now dont even have a knowledge of which plants are dangerous to ruminants, how hay is made and what cuts are best, how to make a poultice for a wound out of bran

Why would anyone who is not associated with agriculture need this knowledge? I trust you wouldn't expect the average Joe to understand brain chemistry as well as a neurosurgeon would.

There's also been a lot of mention of how 'inclusive' hunting is, which is bull. The use of a hireling is hardly a suitable suggestion for a novice rider, no matter how enthusiastic they might be, and the traipsing of followers on foot can hardly be described as an inclusive activity.

I do hope that people can educate themselves beyond one politically motivated viewpoint or their own limited experience.

They have. And they still don't like it. Hunting is completely outdated, we have grown out of blood sports. It is also completely ineffective at fox population control, as I explained above.

I think I'll go back to lurking for a bit on this particular thread. Certain posters have more than a whiff of aggression to them.

ouryve Thu 27-Jun-13 11:25:14

There are far more effective and humane ways of keeping the fox population down (where they are causing a problem) than chasing them around the countryside.

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 11:28:31

Why would you refer to me as 'the Scot'? I am not Scottish. They do allow other nationalities in, you know.

Why would you hold yourself out in the public domain as a zoologist and then object to being referred to as one?

FWIW I have no objection to you referring to me as The lawyer', although I do not use my proffessionalism to give my posts on this forum added weight. Res ipsa Locquiter.

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 11:35:47

I actually object to your hectoring tone more than your misreprsented points if indeed you are a zoologist and not just someone who has read something on the internet. Particularly your crass assumption that people might want to know about the rural traditions of this country. Possibly because if they did, your anti activities wouldn't be so successful. Forget about toffs and whatever, that has to one of the mist snooty comments I gave ever read.

Your comments about hirelings are totally wrong. You can hire bombproof experienced hunters, suitable for novices. Some riding schools also double up. Doing it as a total beginner would probably not be advisable, but then neither would be cycling with your local cycling club peleton, and that requires joining up and a license from a national federation.

tootsietoo Thu 27-Jun-13 11:41:21

YANBU. It certainly was a mistake, for so many reasons, almost the least of which is that it isn't "cruel".

People who enjoyed hunting are not "sick fuckers". They either enjoyed the riding, in which case they generally didn't have a clue what was happening with the hounds and the fox, or they were dedicated dog people who were fascinated with the hounds and enjoyed watching them exercise their natural instinct in a skilful way. The fact that a fox was killed at the end of the process was a functional part of the activity. It was the objective, and there was satisfaction in a job well done, but I didn't see anyone deriving pleasure from the death of the fox, the pleasure is all in the working of the hounds and the horses. Death of livestock and wildlife is so much a part of the lives of so many people who farm and hunt or even just live in the country that I think many of them find it hard to understand why so many get so emotional about it.

Also, I cannot see that killing a wild animal with a dog is any worse than killing it with a gun. Perhaps it is better because it is a predator the animal can understand - it is more natural.

I also agree that some farming practices are far far far worse than hunting a wild animal with a pack of dogs.

I speak as someone who grew up in the suburbs and never hunted who now lives in a very rural area.

OTheHugeManatee Thu 27-Jun-13 12:01:55

The fox hunting issue always brings out massive hypocrisy. Loads of people who get very aerated about the cruelty involved would think nothing of eating battery farmed chicken or using a medicine that has been tested on animals.

I think at the root of it is this idea that cruelty is okay as long as it's not making us seem like the animals that we all are complicit in exploiting and maltreating every day. So we can be as cruel as we like provide it's mechanised, 'scientific', utilitarian and kept behind closed doors. But a type of cruelty that makes us seem more like animals - the thrill of the chase, the excitement of bloodlust and the eventual kill - is somehow horrifying, barbaric and unspeakable.

Personally I take the view that we should be honest about the part of us that is animalistic. Fox hunting may not be pretty, but supporting it (or at least letting people who do get on with it) is a whole lot more honest about human nature than sitting there with your value pack of factory farmed chicken breasts and squealing about the barbarism involved.

olidusUrsus Thu 27-Jun-13 12:10:10

Loads of people who get very aerated about the cruelty involved would think nothing of eating battery farmed chicken or using a medicine that has been tested on animals.

I think the dislike of bloodsport stems from something other than utilitarian ideology, actually. In very, very basic terms, the need to eat and have medicine is at least seen as a necessity for survival, whereas the 'animalistic' need for bloodsport is not.

This actually is my last post.

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 12:11:55

They either enjoyed the riding, in which case they generally didn't have a clue what was happening with the hounds and the fox Ignorance is no excuse. If they are willing to take part in something so polarising then it is incumbent upon them to know all the aspects of what they are doing.

or they were dedicated dog people who were fascinated with the hounds and enjoyed watching them exercise their natural instinct in a skilful way Chasing an animal until it is exhausted is not skillful. Tearing an animal to shreds, limb from limb whilst it is still alive and fighting with each other whilst doing so is not skillful. Watching whilst this happens and then summarily shooting injured dogs so as not to pay vets fees is barbaric.

but I didn't see anyone deriving pleasure from the death of the fox Have you not heard of 'blooding' the young? Or hoisting little kids up in their air with a fox tail wrapped around their necks? Or the 'yard of ale' for the owner/rider of the front running horse (I wonder why drink riding seems to be allowed?)

Also, I cannot see that killing a wild animal with a dog is any worse than killing it with a gun quick clean death or being torn limb from limb whilst exhausted and terrified. Really, you cannot see a difference?

speak as someone who grew up in the suburbs and never hunted who now lives in a very rural area OK, well that explains your views. I hope I have been able to explain some of the things you may not have been aware of, so you can see why for some people this is a very emotive subject.

Drag Hunts give just as much satisfaction, thrill and exercise to horses and dogs. I've taken part myself, just so I understand what it is like. It's not the horses or dogs calling for the ban to be lifted - it's the humans.

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 12:55:55

Oh for Christ's sake, Lt Eve, blooding and fox tails only happens in antis hand books, not real life. And for that matter, hardly anyone wears red coats now either.

Presumably your comments about taking part in something so polarising extends to being anti foxhunting, or even voting for one political party over another. And how can you criticise people for taking part in something, from which they will gain knowledge, for not yet having enough knowledge? Where do you think I found out about charming from? It wasn't the internet.

And the would-be zoologist who has or has not yet flounced off dramatically - are you really suggesting that people should not extend their knowledge about a subject, because you, and people like you, in their imposed godlike omnipotence, say that they shouldn't?

Why on earth would you speak in favour of people not extending their knowledge on a democratic matter? I see no problem, unless they intend to work in the field and require actual qualifications. And if someone has a particular interest in neurology and wants to find out more about ut, who are you to tell them they shouldn't?

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 12:59:12

And Lt Eve - draghunting is generally much faster and over les varied terrain than foxhunring, because its not in the farmers interests to allow more access.

I wouldn't take a quality horse on a drag hunt. I would take one on a foxhunt.

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 13:06:05

Oh for Christ's sake, Lt Eve, blooding and fox tails only happens in antis hand books, not real life

As I said before, I grew up in an area with a very famous hunt and I have seen this with my own eyes. It does take place, and even now there are some that take fake or animal blood on drag hunts so as to 'keep with tradition'.

I did not mention red coats.

Yes, if you are going to take part in something that you know is surrounded by controversy, then it is encumbent upon you to make sure you know all the pitfalls. I have taken part in a number of drag hunts for this very reason, I wanted to see first hand if the dogs and horses were enjoying it, before I declared that they were 'as good' for the animals purposes. They were, so I do.

Yes, I did my research before I voted. Doesn't everyone?

Charming? I suppose you saw it in action, are you an animal behaviourist able to link the foxes actions to outcome? Or would you ask a behaviourist what it meant?

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 13:13:40

Right. Very good. Well I do too Lt Eve. And your point is what exactly?

I had charming described to me by an old countryman at a hunt. I was then interested enough to read up about it.

According to the zoologist, those who dont already know about rural matters and ancient traditions shouldn't inform themselves more about it because they won't find it interesting.

The other anti tactic is to 'demonise' perfectly ordinary people. That's probably next...

burberryqueen Thu 27-Jun-13 13:17:18

I agree with lessmissabs esp re animal testing, factory farmed meat and battery hens.
I don't have much sympathy for poor little foxy loxy in comparison.

Owllady Thu 27-Jun-13 13:17:49

It is a shame no-one has picked up on my point about stoats and weasels as I wanted to trot out a rubbish joke about the difference between them....

burberryqueen Thu 27-Jun-13 13:18:27

aww go on.....grin

Owllady Thu 27-Jun-13 13:18:31

but what about basil brush? he didn't smell and he was quite funny, even with a hand shoved up his poor bottom

burberryqueen Thu 27-Jun-13 13:19:29

boom boom!!

Owllady Thu 27-Jun-13 13:21:10

oh okay, you have forced it out of me

What's the difference between a weasel and a stoat?

One's weasily recognised - the other's stoatally different.

boom boom

<have been mixing with children for far too long>

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 13:25:15

Right. Very good. Well I do too Lt Eve. And your point is what exactly?

I was simply answering your question. Although it was more of a statement.

I think Lackadaisical's description of Charming, whether from the internet or experience was very apt and very interesting. But no more 'right' or 'wrong' than what you were told by an 'old countryman'. FWIW my father is probably what you would describe as an 'old countryman'. He certainly lived most of his formative years 'off the land'.

Owllady Thu 27-Jun-13 13:25:27

I can hear you all groaning you know hmm

burberryqueen Thu 27-Jun-13 13:26:16

grin biscuit wine

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 13:26:51


SilverOldie Thu 27-Jun-13 13:27:45


"But I just don’t understand how people can feel so emotional about fox welfare and yet happily scoff factory farmed meat, which is a bigger cruelty that effects far more animals."

It isn't a question of either/or. I disagree with all hunting as much as I disagree with eating factory farmed meat.

It's perfectly possible to eat ethically reared free range meat even if you are on a limited income as I am (retired). You can still eat meat, just not every day.

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 13:42:08

Well unfortunately Lt Eve, I lack a countryman for a father and grew up in a housing estate in Randstad, so I have to learn my stuff from people I meet socially. Its amazing the amount if knowledge that is being lost. I will speak to anyone, but I can't stand snobs. And snobs come in all varieties, shapes and forms, nit just in red coats.

burberryqueen Thu 27-Jun-13 13:44:50

btw and incidentally I am literally just back from the West Wales horse sales and anyone who thinks horse riding and owning is (I quote) for 'baying chinless toffs' is so far from the truth that it is laughable.

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 13:51:36

Burberryqueen - I know! id just love some anti to jump in amongst them and start braying off about toffs and red coats. But you'd never find them at a horse sale, or for that matter an abattoir, or an animal transporters...

squoosh Thu 27-Jun-13 13:54:12

Hello burberry, that was my quote and if you check again I think you'll see that I wasn't in fact referring to horse riders and owners. I know plenty of those.

I was referring to people who participate in a hunt.

tootsietoo Thu 27-Jun-13 13:55:13

I'm sure the riders should know more about the hunting! But that wasn't my point.

I just wanted to say that people who hunt are not bloodthirsty, sick, or any of the other adjectives often used to describe them. They mostly love to bits either their horse or their hound or both and are really fascinated by an activity that enables them to use their natural instincts and skills to the full.

burberryqueen Thu 27-Jun-13 13:56:07

hmm was a good sound bite but wildly inaccurate IME.

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 14:00:55

So I participate in hunting Squoosh, and I'm a baying chinless toff?

Well, thats news to me! It will be news to my ancestors too that I've been so assimilated into English society! Except it doesn't really exist any more...

Btw can anyone give me a definition of what a 'toff' actually is? I'm struggling to translate it for friends.

burberryqueen Thu 27-Jun-13 14:02:05

lol missabs - are you Dutch?
Toff = pejorative term for the upper classes

burberryqueen Thu 27-Jun-13 14:02:17


onelittlepiglet Thu 27-Jun-13 14:05:17

I'd love to be chased across the country and then torn to shreds by dogs. Not cruel at all - sounds like lots of fun!

Of course fox hunting is cruel and it is more about people getting dressed up and riding about than it is about keeping the numbers of foxes down. How anyone can argue differently is beyond me. There are much better ways to cull foxes than that.

A friend used to live in a cottage in a small village in a fox hunting area. They were close to large estate. They actually had in the deeds of their house a clause which stated that if a fox was being hunted and ran onto their property including into their house, the hunt was perfectly at liberty to ride through their garden and go info their house. How lovely for them that must have been, the idea that some upper class idiot could just go into their house at any time and kill a fox if they so wished....

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 14:22:10

Half and half, Burberry Queen. Although according to this thread, I'm a Scottish toff! And my friend, who is Hong Kong Chinese and a pharmacist, is also one. So too are our two friends who live in ex council houses and keep their horses at the local DIY yard, where we all met!

No, I speak perfectly fluent English without an accent, but im having real trouble explaining to my Dutch friends what a toff is, since they say ut hasn't really existed for 50 years.

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 14:24:12

I will speak to anyone, but I can't stand snobs. And snobs come in all varieties, shapes and forms, nit just in red coats

I can't stand snobs either, I am almost certainly the direct opposite to a snob, when you consider my background. But I am not sure why you are directing that at me as I have mentioned neither snobs or red coats.

I also grew up on a housing estate, albeit one very close to the countryside.

I have simply stated the facts as I have seen them - as are you.

I am completely against fox hunting and dislike those that willingly take part in something that I believe is barbaric, outdated and unnecessary.

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 14:53:29

I found some of the antis comments very snobbish, in their looking down on people as being more stupid or less well educated than themselves through their choices in life, in not embracing social diversity and choice and different lifestyles, and in perpetuating the notion that people shouldn't learn more about a subject because they 'wouldnt be interested'. I also detected a barely discernable whiff of anti -Scottish sentiment.

ElBurroSinNombre Thu 27-Jun-13 15:09:17

I take the liberal view on this.

I think fox hunting is cruel and I wouldn't do it myself. However, I think that we have to respect the right of the individual to make choices that fit in with his/her moral stance on issues like this. Fox hunting does not harm other people and is beneficial to the rural economy. Contrary to popular opinion many different types of people take part in this activity. It is almost Stalinist to want to impose your view of the world on others on issues like this, quite apart from the waste of police time and public money that has been spent on the ban.

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 15:10:19

Now you are just making things up. One person called you a Scot because:

1) You were rude and dismissive of her and rather than address her by posting name, as is the correct MN ettiquete, you called her the zoologist so she responded in kind.

2) You led other posters to believe that you were scottish by posting that you hunted in Scotland.

There was no anti-scottish sentiment at all, and well you know it.

You are similarly dismissive of "the antis" (as you put it) and are quite goading in your posts.

I do not look down on anyone due to their social standing, intelligence (or lack of). I do look down on anyone who chases foxes whilst on horseback and allows baying hounds to tear foxes to pieces for their enjoyment. There is no need for it and no justification.

ElBurroSinNombre Thu 27-Jun-13 15:15:54


There is no real need to eat factory farmed meat yet the majority of our population do it without any thought whatsoever. Do you condemn them so easily?

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 15:33:07

I disagree ElBurroSinNombre. I think in the UK there are far too many people that are sitting in real poverty, for whom factory farmed meat provides necessary protein that they would otherwise have to get from more expensive sources.

I do not condem those people that buy it, because I do not believe they have a choice.

I do not have an issue with 'hunters' - those that shoot animals for food as they are providing a service (humane cull - well as much as possible and food). Just Fox Hunters.

I also wouldn't have a problem with a farmer that despatched a fox with his trusty shotgun for worrying his sheep.

Fox hunting serves no purpose, it does not rid the rural areas of foxes, it does not act as a natural cull, it does not provide meat for the starving. Neither does it provide much needed exercise for the hounds or horses that they cannot get otherwise - see drag hunting.

All it does is provide the riders with some bloodthirsty fun - that they really do not need.

tompuss Thu 27-Jun-13 15:38:55

Have been watching this thread with interest and I have to say that I think that LessMissAbs speaks with calm, authoritative reason on such an emotive subject.

There is so much ignorance and hysteria surrounding hunting and yes people should know what they are talking about before condemning it.

I respect anyone's opinion and right to object but they do have to know the facts and not just hash out the old myths and suppositions

ElBurroSinNombre Thu 27-Jun-13 15:40:18

Thats your judgement Dallas,
But why do you need to impose your world view on other equally intelligent and coherant people who happen to think differently to you?

The cruelty argument is a bit of a sham IMO. Each one of us is unconciously involved in many acts of cruelty every day, like eating factory farmed meat. BTW you can get protein from other sources if you really want to.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 27-Jun-13 15:44:59

I blame Walt Disney.

SlowlorisIncognito Thu 27-Jun-13 15:57:05

ElBurroSinNombre I think you are wrong to say that hunts never cause harm to other people. Some hunts are lovely, and courteous to others using the land they hunt on. Others are not, and there are a few hunts who lack respect for private property and other people in the area- one advantage of laid drags or trails is that they can be limited to land where the hunt has express permission to be and avoid, for example, hounds running out into traffic.

I am also interest in those who suggest we need to control foxes as they have lost their "natural predators"- Do they mean wolves and bears? I don't think either of these would have hunted foxes as a matter of course, although they would have killed them on occasion. The loss of the wolf population has probably opened more niches to foxes, but I disagree they are out of control in the same way deer numbers are. I find it quite sad people want to eliminate our natural wildlife for human convinience.

I also dislike the assumption that all antis are hypocrites, who don't care about other animal welfare issues. I only eat products from humanely farmed animals, and I am a supporter of minimising the amount of animal testing in the drug industry, and improving the welfare of those animals.

With regards to the "rural poor", whilst I accept some people made money from hunts, in general, I think horse specific tradesmen, such as farriers and saddlers have suffered more from the recession and people either cutting back on their horses, or selling them. It is well known that in the UK sadly there are more horses than are wanted at the moment as a result of indiscriminate breeding and less people being able to afford to keep them.

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 16:00:50

But why do you need to impose your world view on other equally intelligent and coherant people who happen to think differently to you?

Where have I done that? I was under the impression that I was posting on a talk board, responding to points made by both those for and against fox hunting. I'm not "imposing my world view" on anyone, any more than anyone else is - surely we are just talking here?

I have as much 'experience' in this matter as, for example, LessMissAbs, we are just on opposing 'sides' so to speak. That doesn't make my arguement more or less correct than hers.

(I know you can get protein from other sources, unfortunately 'other sources' can be out of the price range of those struggling to feed their families - it's often cheaper to pick up a pack of 2 factory farmed chicken breasts that would feed (and leave full) 4 people)

ElBurroSinNombre Thu 27-Jun-13 16:06:07

What you say about hunts is true but there were already laws that could have been enforced to protect people from the hunts that do not respect their property. It is not a good reason to justify the ban.

I do not say that antis are hypocrites and I applaud your stance, which is at least consistent with your views on hunting. But why should your world view prevail whilst someone who has an equally well thought out and coherant world view have their actions made illegal? As I said before, it is almost Stalinist to want to ban things that you do not like.

ElBurroSinNombre Thu 27-Jun-13 16:07:37


Making something that is essentially harmless an unlawful act is an imposition and you support that imposition.

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 16:14:50

essentially harmless

Not to the fox it wasn't.

It is equally an imposition to continue to do something that thousands of people are against.

It is equally an imposition to do something that is cruel and unneccessary simply "for fun". If there was a need for fox hunting, it would not have been banned.

ElBurroSinNombre Thu 27-Jun-13 16:18:35

What is next, ban shooting for instance?

That fits the criteria above. it is; cruel, unnecessary and simply for fun.

That is one example, there are many others. I really wouldn't like to live in your Stalinist world. As I said before I do not take part in these activities (fox hunting or shooting) but there is a principle at stake.

Elquota Thu 27-Jun-13 16:23:47

No, it's not "Stalinist" to want to live in a kind society that doesn't deliberately cause harm. That's normal, not "Stalinist" hmm

As for other things in the world not being ideal, two (or more) wrongs don't make a right.

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 16:25:22

I know a number of people that shoot (and fish) they all do it for food as well as sport.

The animals are cleanly killed and distributed amongst the hunt members to be eaten.

They are not torn to shreds and discarded.

I would not do it myself, but I grew up in a time where it was quite usual for my father to be 'paid' in rabbits, pheasant, pigeon and on one memorable occasion, boar, all provided by 'poorer' people who could not afford to pay my father in cash. If an animal is shot, cleanly and used to feed people then I have no issue with it, whether I would do it myself or not.

I've seen the suffering of the fox (and a vixen and cubs) and it disgusts me.

ElBurroSinNombre Thu 27-Jun-13 16:28:15

Who does fox hunting harm?

Foxes are not human beings.

The fox itself is a predator that will kill for the sake of killing and not just to eat. I would guess that it is for that reason that the ritual around fox hunting has evolved.

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 16:29:22

The fox itself is a predator that will kill for the sake of killing and not just to eat

You really need to read the whole thread.

ElBurroSinNombre Thu 27-Jun-13 16:39:00

I don't need to do anything thanks - perhaps at some future point you will try to make it illegal for someone to post without reading everything on a thread.

My point is this;

I accept that fox hunting is cruel.
But why should my views about this prevail over someone else's choice to hunt. That is the liberal view. And as far as I can tell you have not and cannot answer this point.

quoteunquote Thu 27-Jun-13 16:53:39


The fox itself is a predator that will kill for the sake of killing and not just to eat

Nope wrong and annoying to see this lack of understanding still going on,

Imagine you were in the middle of the Canadian wilderness, living in a cave with your children, having to find your own food,

you are wandering through the woods, and you come across a gaggle of geese, you manage to trap them in a gully,

You kill one, but they are huge, and you will only be able to carry one back to the cave, do you;

A. kill one and let the rest go.

B. kill them all and go back and forth to carry them back to the cave, and have food for the next week.

C. kill one, take it back, come back and hope to find the others to kill.

If you find a fox has killed all your poultry, if you do not disturb the scene or the fox you will see it come back and take one after the other, every single time,

When people make statements about animal behaviour it worth remembering, it is never illogical , if you don't understand why an animal is doing something watch more carefully, eventually you will work it out, but making up answer is silly, or look it up.

Elquota Thu 27-Jun-13 17:01:32

> Foxes are not human beings.

Who said not wanting to cause harm should be restricted to human beings?

> The fox itself is a predator that will kill for the sake of killing and not just to eat.

Even if that were true, the difference is that human beings have morals and choice.

WillowKnicks Thu 27-Jun-13 17:08:45

I do not look down on anyone due to their social standing, intelligence (or lack of). I do look down on anyone who chases foxes whilst on horseback and allows baying hounds to tear foxes to pieces for their enjoyment

EXACTLY!!! I couldn't have put it better myself!!!

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 17:12:13

Lt eve Dallas. I did not 'lead anyone to believe that I was Scottish' be being 'rude or dismissive' of another poster, nor because I said I had hunted in Scotland. I was surprised at the assumption I was Scottish It really is very multi cultural here. I've also hunted in Ireland, and I would be equally surprised if someone assumed I was Irish from that single fact.

I am also surprised that the poster in question, who constantly used the term 'zoologists' throughout her post in order to give the impression that he/she was one, saw no dichotomy in someone referring to another by their alleged job title, and by someone simply by their (assumed) nationality or racial origin.

Neither am I happy that you have said that we have the same experience on the matter. I do not know your particular experience, but you gave a very misleading impression that draghunting is the same as foxhunting but without foxes. It is an entirely different experience for the horse, much faster, much less educational, and while I would take a young horse foxhunting, I would not take a good horse draghunting. and thats a pretty standard viewpoint, and yes I have done both.

And yes, it is a Stalinist trait to tell people what they should think.

redrubyshoes Thu 27-Jun-13 17:22:31

Ever seen the carcass of a skinned tiger hanging from a tree? It wasn't eaten, just taken for it's pelt. I have in South East Asia. That is called 'hunting' and it is cruel and despicable and just the same as fox hunting.

Blood sport is the right name for it. Eat the bloody fox if you want to hunt it down and kill it so brutally.

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 17:31:54

Doesn't sound the same to me, Ruby.

Elquota Thu 27-Jun-13 17:32:20

> it is a Stalinist trait to tell people what they should think

No-one has told anyone what to think. This is a debate and so you'll come across opinions which are different to yours, which others are as certain of as you clearly are of your own views.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 27-Jun-13 17:43:16


Fox hunting is barbaric. It was a hobby for a particular type of wealthy person. The kind who liked terrorising a small animal.

Cats are legally considered vermin also. But there would be an outcry if people were calling for them to culled for killing wildlife.

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 17:45:10

Well I believed that you were Scottish when you posted about foxes in Scotland in your rural area. I apologise for that assumption if it has caused you any distress.

Olidus used the term zoologist twice in her epic post, not constantly. Trying to belittle her now is very goading and demeans you. There is no reason for you to cast aspersions on her or her career, you do so simply to sneer because she disagreed with you, and very eloquently too.

I said we both had experience of fox hunting simply because other posters had posted about people who didn't have any experience of it being 'for' or 'against'. I believe I am experienced enough to be able to debate this subject, as do you.

You say that I give a misleading impression of drag hunting. I don't believe I do. In the same way that you stated that 'blooding' and 'tailing' doesn't happen, but it does. We have different experience, but we still have experience.

I am not telling anyone what to think. I am simply expressing my opinion, as are you.

mummytime Thu 27-Jun-13 17:58:47

Urban foxes are very different to rural ones. Even if hunting was allowed I can't see it making any difference to my local foxes and I live within 1/2 miles of open countryside.

Foxes are better if you can persuade all your neighbours not to feed them. Urban Badgers can be more of an issue, and they are cleverer - they get into out local food recycling bins. Then the Urban deer are getting cleverer too!

LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 18:05:17

You are trying to control the debate LtEve by inserting subtle misrepresentations which you think will sway people to your own restrictive viewpoint.

Why would I be distressed about being called a Scot? What an odd, leading use of tbe word 'distressed'. Believe me, im not that emotionally frail. The word I used was 'surprised', so use that.

Unless I were a Scot and it was said in a way so as to mirror a perceived (and entirely unintended insult). In fact the poster made so much of what zoologists said and did, and presented their views as so compelling, that it is not unreasonable to assume that she was happy to be referred to as one. Which I'm pretty certain she isn't. The rejoinder that she would call me a Scot clearly had a racist element. Otherwise why mention nationality in comparison to a profession. And by making such a nationalistic reference, the poster sought to subtly exclude me from the discussion.

Your experiences equestrian wise are entirely different to mine. I grew up riding in a country where it was simply considered a nice thing for girls to do, not part of some mark of class membership. I've been brought up to respect and accommodate others views, to legislate by facilitation rather than banning. To act for the good of society as a whole, not to appease differing factions. Ie to co-operate, while allowing individuality to stand.

That is why I also find your views Stalinist.

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 18:08:50

Mummytime, we live right next to open farmland and woods - our garden fence is alongside it. We have rabbits so made sure to fox proof their hutch/run. Our dog is forever growling and barking running along the fence line, so we thought we'd done the right thing expecting foxes to be on the prowl.

Imagine our surprise one morning to find two deer in our garden - and not pretty little bambi thing - scary ones that ran at me to escape! The dog was useless - skirted straight back inside with her tail between her legs.

Didn't imagine we'd need to 'Deer proof' for one minute!

RazzleDazzleEm Thu 27-Jun-13 18:11:46

I am sick of hearing about it.

People are dying horrid deaths in privately run nursing homes of thirst and basic needs ditto those with disabilities, and yet the whole country seemingly gets worked up about the foxes!



LessMissAbs Thu 27-Jun-13 18:13:35

And I'm neither casting doubt on the poster's career nor demeaning myself LtEve. Along with my wrongly perceived nationality and your innacurate assertion that I am distressed, that is entirely your fiction.

I simply cannot see why someone who holds themselves out as a zoologist would then object to being called a zoologist. Unless of course they were not a zoologist, but had simply done a little reading. which would be ironic, as they then went onto state that people in general wouldn't be interested in informing themselves about rural matters.

You have a very distinctive, but ultimately limited discursive style, if you dont mind me saying. You make false accusations and then try to fudge the issue to assert control. Do you have any other tactics you could employ in your battle against accuracy?

Elquota Thu 27-Jun-13 18:19:53

RazzleDazzle it's perfectly possible to be concerned about more than one thing, they're not mutually exclusive.

If people were only ever concerned about the single most important issue in the world (whatever that is) then nothing else would be given any time whatsoever. That's not how life works.

LtEveDallas Thu 27-Jun-13 18:43:12

What false accusations are those then lessmissabs? I'd be interested to hear them.

WillowKnicks Thu 27-Jun-13 18:55:41



I really don't see what nursing homes & people with disabilities has to do with the fox hunting debate...people can feel compassion for more than one thin you know!!

IMO people who are compassionate about people, tend to be compassionate about animals too.

WillowKnicks Thu 27-Jun-13 18:58:23


olidusUrsus Thu 27-Jun-13 21:26:01

Where did I say that being Scottish was negative? Where did I use racial slurs? You have implied those things. You picked up on a feature of my post and used that to address me, rather than using, you know, my username. I returned the favour. I was trying to make a point about how pathetic it was to take a keyword from someone's post and try to use it to address them, clearly that went over your head. I am sorry you took it personally. Maybe you wouldn't have raised the distressed comment if you had dropped the issue once it was explained on my behalf by LtEve.

I object to being referred to as 'the zoologist' because I have a username and it's etiquette on MN to address another poster by their username, as I'm sure you have noticed. There is also more than one zoologist in the world, and potentially more than one on this thread.
I repeat: I was making a point about how pathetic it was to take a keyword from someone's post and try to use it to address them because those features could potentially refer to anyone. You did it to demean me (and zoology), I'm sure. Why else do it.

I find it very telling that you have resorted to slurring me by implying I am a racist and also by banging on about how much I bang on about zoology rather than addressing the points I raised in my post with a counter-argument.

Over and out.

nooka Thu 27-Jun-13 23:55:42

olidusUrsus I thought that your post was both interesting and obviously informed, and the response to it really quite bizarre, suggesting that you were probably not really a zoologist, and even if you were you were obviously wrong. If that's not a way to shut someone down I don't know what is.

As for the 'Stalinist' comments being thrown around, it is quite ridiculous. I have a relative who spent years in solitary isolation under the Soviet regime, not being allowed to indulge in a blood sport is in no way comparable, not is their thought crime involved. Hunters can after all go on imagining that they are hunting, and they can talk about it as much as they like with no repercussions at all.

For those who think that not allowing hunting is so incredibly illiberal as it doesn't hurt anyone (except of course foxes) would they also like to legalise bear bating, cock fighting, hare coursing and dog fighting? None of those hurt anyone except for animals, and they all no doubt have some economic benefits to someone.

nooka Thu 27-Jun-13 23:56:26

nor is there blush

cronullansw Fri 28-Jun-13 01:19:13

The ban of fox hunting had nothing to do with foxes, or hunting, and everything to do with Labour trying to bloody the Tory nose.

It was governmental spite, end of.

Either way, it had nothing to do with foxes in the city.... thats a majorly dumb thing to think.

LessMissAbs Fri 28-Jun-13 06:29:43

Precious much Oli? Demonising someone because they referred to you by your job title rather than by the random collection of letters you have chosen as your username?

Is that the most important point if your argument? And then claiming I have not addressed the points in your interesting, but one sided post, which as I pointed out earlier, did not address the benefits of foxhunting to the ecosystem, particularly preserving a healthy population because mainly elderly or diseased foxes are caught. Is those which tend to target stock rather than wildlife. And your arrogant assumption that people would not want to learn about rural ways. Why? Because you said so.

Why someone would make such a huge song and dance about being referred to by their job title (on which point you admittedly remain vague). You may refer to me by mine, as already mentioned.

It is worrying that you see no difference in referring to someone by their job, and by their racial or ethnic background. And that your response to what you perceived as an insult was to make reference to that racial or ethnic background. The inference is that you perceived that to be equally insulting.

LtEveDallas Fri 28-Jun-13 08:49:32

You may refer to me by mine, as already mentioned

Which one, Lawyer or Lecturer?

mainly elderly or diseased foxes are caught

Or vixens and their cubs.

did not address the benefits of foxhunting to the ecosystem, particularly preserving a healthy population

Which can be equally controlled by a huntsman and his rifle. As you said yourself, FoxHunts don't happen weekly, so it would be equally effective (if this were true) for the farmer to cleanly shoot every elderly or diseased fox he sees.

mainly elderly or diseased foxes are caught

Delete "caught" and insert "torn to shreds whilst exhausted and terrifed"

Bunbaker Fri 28-Jun-13 08:58:22

When I lived in South London I used to see/hear foxes all the time. Now I live in rural South Yorkshire where people still hunt foxes I never see them, ever.

mummytime Fri 28-Jun-13 09:12:36

Bunbaker - that is meaningless BTW. Urban foxes have evolved to be relatively unfrightened of people, and happily wander around in broad daylight.
Rural foxes are still totally wild animals and hide from human's and are nocturnal mainly. So you are much less likely to see Rural foxes than Urban foxes, even if there is exactly the same population density.
Just as you would be very lucky to see a vole, even though there are millions of them.

Or as a friend observed with the deer. The adults started to visit her garden and were a bit annoying eating her flowers, but they never tried to get the ones in the middle of beds. The Fawn though learnt how to get to those in the middle, and now eats all the flowers. Another generation back they were only occasional visitors.

Eyesunderarock Fri 28-Jun-13 10:33:03

'When I lived in South London I used to see/hear foxes all the time. Now I live in rural South Yorkshire where people still hunt foxes I never see them, ever.'

Due to the prevalence of food and shelter, an urban fox's territory is much smaller than most rural fox's and the population density is correspondingly higher.
And if anyone said they were fox-hunting in Scotland, my automatic assumption (correct or not) would be that you were/t a scot as the majority of large land estates in Scotland are owned by foreigners. Including the English. I would also assume that your income was way above the average.

WillowKnicks Fri 28-Jun-13 10:37:48

LessMiss It was YOU who made the song & dance about being called a Scot!!

If anyone has disagreed with you & come up with a reasoned & informed argument against you, you have been personally offensive & called them racist & Stalinist??!!

If your true personality is coming across in your posts, it surprises me not a jot that you enjoy hunting & sad

quoteunquote Fri 28-Jun-13 12:42:33

Now I live in rural South Yorkshire where people still hunt foxes I never see them, ever

As I said up thread,

The thing is we now have far fewer foxes in the countryside than when hunting was allowed,

because when the ban came in, the shooting started, it is really easy to shoot a fox, the reason landowners left them before the ban, was so the hunt could always easily find a fox,

now that the hunt do not "want" a fox, the landowners shoot any spotted

the chap alongside us shot over eighty in six months,

I am no fan of fox hunting, but while it was allowed, the fox was rarely shot, now the policy for most is shoot them all,

I miss them.

burberryqueen Fri 28-Jun-13 12:55:53

interesting that you have touched on the behavioural differences between urban and rural foxes..

it seems there are definitely two 'breeds' here, the sheep biters that u don't see and the bin rummagers who are bold as anything - apparently there is a band of fox loving crusties who trap urban foxes and drive them to rural areas and set them free there. Honestly.

All the more reason to don the red coats and hunt them down...tuuruuu!!

The local pack here continues hunting as normal, but they are now called a 'vermin pack' not a 'hunt'

Gingersstuff Fri 28-Jun-13 14:37:21

Interesting that the pro-hunters all trot out the same old tired's jealousy, it's a class thing, it's great for the horses, the ban has ruined the rural economies, it's great for controlling the pest population, the foxes nearly always don't get caught. Yada yada yada.
The fact is that fox-hunting is a brutal, barbaric, outdated and inefficient method (nowadays in any case) of controlling fox populations. There is no excuse for it. If need be, a quick death with a bullet to the head. Though I'm of the opinion that if indeed urban fox populations are increasing, it's for two, we're all lazy fuckers that can't be trusted to put rubbish properly in bins which results in very easy pickings for foxes (and rats, and seagulls and pigeons) and two...that we parasitic humans are expanding at such a rate that we are encroaching on the foxes' territory and they're left with little choice besides raiding bins in back gardens. However I would argue that we're doing the same to every other species on this planet. And as someone else upthread said, left to their own devices their populations would stabilise eventually anyway.
We're supposed to be the intelligent species here. I completely understand the concept of land and species management, this is not the way to go about it. And to hell with tradition. It used to be tradition to hunt the great whales on this planet and where did that get us? Whole species brought to the very brink of extinction and untold upset to marine ecosystems. Though the Japanese would argue differently and are currently being dragged through the court at the Hague to defend their reprehensible behaviour in continuing to hunt endangered whale species.
And for the posters who likened fox-hunting to swallowing an aspirin...laughable. Not even in the same universe. Similarly for those posters who claim that while there is world hunger we shouldn't be worrying about a few foxes. We are a species capable of higher thinking and processing more than one issue at a time, though you wouldn't think it from some of these posts sad

quoteunquote Fri 28-Jun-13 14:45:19

It would be very cruel to let an urban fox go in a rural environment, it would not have the required hunting skills needed,

one of my(It live on land I manage) extra clever foxes, sits just inside the gateway of a field, by a main road with wide verges(rare here), at a cross roads,

she waits patiently until one of the rabbits usually a young one is knocked over by a car, she then carefully waits until there are no cars, then collects her dinner,

each year she teaches her cubs road safety,

I watch her in the evenings, show her cubs, how to enter a field down wind from the rabbits, and work their way up through the crop, and then wait until a nibbling rabbit is a lunge away and pounce.

we need the foxes as the rabbits get out of hand with the falling numbers, then we start to get serious problems with rabbit damage.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Fri 28-Jun-13 14:49:03

Great post Ginger smile

Owllady Fri 28-Jun-13 14:54:02

quoteunquote, I don't know where you live but here wild rabbits are shot to eat (in season) to keep the population down. My local butchers has them all hanging on hooks outside the shop. The same is done with muntjac, which is also seen as a pest - they are not hung outside the butchers though - heaven forbid grin

Gingersstuff Fri 28-Jun-13 15:38:02

HoHoHo why, thank you grin

nooka Fri 28-Jun-13 16:01:01

My parents live in an area on the edge of hunt territory, so were only disturbed every now and then when the hunt got a bit over excited and went through their land (cue a lot of swearing farmers as the damage they left was considerable). When the rabbit population gets out of control they go out at night with very powerful lights, the rabbits freeze and then the farmers shoot them. It seems to be pretty effective, but does not involve any great fuss or excitement.

On another note there is a shoot on the local estate, the main result of which is pheasants everywhere (which my mother finds upsetting as they eat all her vegetables). These things tend to make money for the estates that run them, but generally are more likely to cause bother for everyone else.

quoteunquote Fri 28-Jun-13 16:44:00

I happily shoot and eat rabbits, we are in devon, and even if you sat there all day and night you would never deal with the numbers in the same way hungry foxes do,

I don't see the point of hunting an animal you are not going to eat,

but as conservationist all over the world unfortunately find, often it is the hunting that protects the species.

a few years ago a chap in Gloucestershire left a huge amount of woodland to the NT, he was a keen deer stalker, and the land was kept in mint native condition, he left to the NT (for all of us) with a condition the local shoot would continue to use the land.

the NT accepted the land, then went through legal routes to overturn the shooting conditions, much to the disgust of family, friends and the shoot.

so the anti shooting people were very pleased,

but that one incident has cost us (british public) thousands of acres which would of come back into public use, because hundreds of people who were going to open up their land, by gifting it to the NT, changed their minds.

we have more deer in this country now than when the Magna Carta was signed, (1200s) because we don't eat venison in the same qualities, even though it is much healthier and greener than beef.

Deer numbers have to be controlled because of the damage to trees, we are not short of deer.

Owllady Fri 28-Jun-13 16:56:17

I know we are not short of deer wink

TheRealFellatio Fri 28-Jun-13 17:07:02

I completely agree with you Ginger. I have yet to hear an argument for fox hunting that stacks up. All of it just smacks of clutching at straws, and I say that as a countryside lover and someone who knows a fair few pro-hunting people as friends.

Re deer, we have tipped nature's balance rather dramatically by a) eradicating their native predators and b) introducing four non-native species (fallow, sika, muntjac and Chinese water deer), for shooting purposes, all of which have settled in very well. Only roe and red deer are native to Britain, and their natural numbers were boosted considerably by introductions from other countries in Victorian times.

Owllady Fri 28-Jun-13 17:21:36

The Duke of Bedford also has the Pere David's deer, Axis, Chital and the Barsingha oh and Rusa and didn't the muntjac and chinese water deer escape from there? (you know, originally)

SelectAUserName Fri 28-Jun-13 18:30:48

I'd like to throw in a few facts at random:

Traditionally, the reason the majority of hunt staff "dressed up" in red coats was so that a farmer, seeing a group of riders on his land, could see at a distance and at a quick glance that they were the hunt and so riding there with permission, rather than any random group of pleasure riders who might not know and follow the rules of riding across farmland, crops etc. Many hunts have moved away from wearing red in recent years.

A trained marksman with a rifle would be a more humane method of fox control. Unfortunately it isn't possible to guarantee a clean kill shot 100% of the time - particularly not with a shotgun, which is the more common type of weapon used - so a percentage of all foxes shot will not die a quick death but a lingering one of starvation or infection. One advantage of fox hunting in that respect is that the hunted fox either gets away unhurt or is killed outright. There is no half measure, unlike every other method of control to a greater or lesser extent.

There is a misconception that foxes are running flat out, terrified, for hours. This is almost never the case. The fox will usually be far enough ahead of the hunt to move at a purposeful jog, quite calmly, pausing to sniff the air, assess the pursuit and pick its escape route. They are not chased for hours in a blind panic or anything near it. Only during the final short phase of the hunt, when the hounds are within sight of the fox, will it break into a run. Even then, running from a predator is 'natural' IYSWIM. It is far more stressful for a fox (or any wild animal) to be restrained than it is to be chased. That's not to say the fox won't feel a degree of fear during the end-stage of a hunt but only to a level consistent with its natural lifestyle. There is a tendency to anthropomorphise the thought of being chased as we humans would find it terrifying as it's such an alien concept to us, but it is much less alien or terrifying to a wild animal who lives on its instinct.

Far from being bloodthirsty slavering loonies hell-bent on torture, hunt staff in particular and many followers have respect for the fox. It is an unsentimental pragmatic 'old-skool' countryman's view but they neither hate foxes nor take perverse glee in watching it be 'ripped apart'. They see themselves, in the main, as having a job to do - a job which happens to give members of the community the opportunity to watch hounds at work, to ride an unknown line over open countryside and to strengthen social ties. The vast majority of people who followed hounds either did so because of enjoyment of the skill of houndwork - and there is skill involved; you have to be able to judge scenting conditions, ground conditions, predict the behaviour of the individual hounds which make up the pack, read subtle signs regarding trails, spoors, dens - or because it was the only opportunity to ride 'into the unknown'. Every other equestrian pursuit involves having the course or event entirely mapped out for you. Drag-hunting mimics hunting freedoms to some extent but even then, a person has previously chosen the trail based on a relatively restricted amount of land and there isn't the same unpredictability of route, speed, number of stops and starts, distance of runs etc that fox hunting offered.

A large number of people who hunt will have never seen the actual kill. That is not their primary motivation. It is the thrill of riding at speed over land that they would not otherwise have access to, because access was only granted on the basis the hunt was providing the farmer with a service. It may not have been the most efficient service, but it was a symbiotic relationship.

The ban was never about animal welfare. The independent enquiry set up to report on hunting during the parliamentary debates leading to the ban could not definitively recommend a ban on the grounds of cruelty as there was insufficient evidence to do so. The Labour Government had to invoke the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 to pass the Hunting Act into law; only the seventh time it had been invoked since its inception.

cazboldy Sun 30-Jun-13 12:20:16

all good factual points selectausername

burberryqueen Sun 30-Jun-13 12:28:36

excellent post ^^

ragged Sun 30-Jun-13 13:52:07

I live in the countryside and we never see foxes here. No hunts, but not heaps of rubbish & food, either. After the potato harvest we see people in the fields gathering up the castoffs for themselves. Get rid of the wasteful habit of throwing out good food & I bet you won't see them, either. It's a sign of affluence if you ask me.

maninawomansworld Tue 02-Jul-13 13:10:12

I've rethought my position over time and have come to the conclusion that town people shouldn't dictate to country people how to live, and vice versa. Especially when countryside vermin start inhabiting my street

Wow..... common sense prevails.... can you have a chat to some of your fellow town dwellers for us please?

Funny how it takes the problem to begin affecting you before you start to see it from our point of view though isn't it?!

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