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Views on the Hunt

(11 Posts)
NewYearNewNames Tue 17-Jan-17 23:01:30

I ride but have never hunted and wouldn't have when they were killing foxes but don't actually have strong views against them iyswim.
I had a bad experience of them today though as about 20 hounds poured through our garden. No hunts people anywhere to be seen, they broke down the fence between mine and my neighbours garden and streamed off barking their heads off. Then one appeared but as he couldn't see where the others had gone he turned tail and ran straight out onto the road in front of a car. Very lucky not to be hit.
A few minutes later a guy in red jacket came trotting along the road with this hound following, I told him they had been through our garden and he smiled and said "oh was that the noise".
I told my dh and his response was "that's the nature of hunting, it is chaotic and hounds do run riot". Surely in today's age it is not ok to have a large number of dogs running around out of control?
I thought about putting this in Aibu but actually interested in what other horsey people think.

MoonlightandMusic Tue 17-Jan-17 23:49:27

You're right - it's not ok and it shouldn't be "chaotic". Hounds are very much not pets. Any dog/cat/small furry that crosses their paths
is at risk, so they should not be out of sight of the huntsmen at any point - for their safety and for the safety of other animals.

From my own experience of seven years with a hunt, hounds without the huntsmen fairly close by is something that really doesn't happen.

It's very poor form the animals you saw weren't under proper control, and the hunt is very lucky there weren't any pets in yours or your neighbour's garden. If I were you, I would contact the hunt to ask them to cover the cost of re-instating the fence too.

NewYearNewNames Wed 18-Jan-17 11:44:04

I wouldn't know which hunt it was or how to contact them, and judging by the huntsman I spoke to they won't be very interested.
When hunting was banned there was a lot of talk about hounds having to be put down as the hunt wouldn't be able to stop them 'hunting' and would need a different type to drag hunt etc. Did this just not happen then if any pets in our gardens were at risk?

Fireinthegrate Wed 18-Jan-17 16:51:50

Definitely get in touch and ask for payment towards your new fence that is appalling.
Our local hunt, the huntsman is never far from his hounds and i would say 99% of the time they are under control.
There are various ways of hunting since the ban. As I understand it, and I might be a bit wrong, you can either drag hunt, ie, lay a scent and the. Follow it. Or you can use hounds to flush a fox out into the open where it is legal for it to be shot or for a bird of prey to kill it.
So foxes can still get killed (culled) and hounds can still hunt.

To find who your local hunt is, look online for your area. There should be a contact.

Fireinthegrate Thu 19-Jan-17 11:04:27

You might be able to find the hunt responsible here:

www.mfha.org.uk/pack_directory/

Moanranger Thu 19-Jan-17 19:48:59

Most hunts are really paranoid about any bad publicity, damage resulting from a hunt, so you should be able to track them down and get reparations. Speak to the Master or Chief Whipper In.
I hunted for a few seasons (Surrey & EKent Bloodhounds & Surrey Union) The first more careful than the second, it is riotous, hair-raising &fun.
The Bloodhounds are esp careful with the hounds -never saw anything like this, but I am sure it happens.

Butkin1 Fri 20-Jan-17 12:34:17

Our local hunt always warns us in advance if they are coming nearby as they know we like to keep our ponies in their stables on those days. They have always been very courteous with us. Should be easy to find out which hunt it was as they are very area specific and they also tend to hunt only on certain days of the week. Contact one of the Masters and let him know what happened. I'm sure he'll sort it..

PoloStar Sun 22-Jan-17 16:54:41

Just to add, at no point would any pets - dogs, cats, small furries - have been at risk. Hounds were bred for generations to hunt foxes - a very specific purpose, with a very specific scent. They don't have a ravening blood lust to kill regardless.

Most packs nowadays don't even feed flesh any more as it has become too expensive to maintain the flesh processing area in Kennels in a EU approved manner. Hounds are generally fed on dog biscuits or there is a pack in Wales who has a deal with a local pasty manufacturer to take all the seconds from the factory!

tootsietoo Mon 23-Jan-17 09:46:17

I wouldn't describe that as chaotic and running riot. I walk my lurcher every day on the footpaths round our house. He runs off the lead, sometimes up to two fields away from me, but he comes back instantly I whistle or call, as if he's on a piece of elastic. BUT there is no doubt that if he spots a rabbit, then he is off and I almost certainly won't be able to stop him until the rabbit is caught or disappears (usually the latter, he is not a very good lurcher!). So there is a risk that he could run over a road or through someone's garden, but it is a small risk and one that I take in return for a happy dog who has the freedom to exercise his natural instincts and is well exercised. The alternative would be to have him on a lead or at heel all the time which would lead to quite a fed up hound.

Foxhounds are the same. The relationship a huntsman has with his hounds is incredible. He might have 100 or so in kennels, and 30 or so out on a hunting day, and he (or she) knows every one by name, and each hound's family tree, personality, ailments, strengths and weaknesses. It is amazing to watch a pack of 30 odd all sitting looking up at their boss waiting for their next command. When they are hunting they go where their huntsman asks them to and are amazingly controllable, but once they are on a scent then they are following their natural instincts. A huntsman can call them off a scent, but if he is not quite quite quick enough (and they are fast when they start running!) then sometimes it does happen that they will go places where they shouldn't.

I think, similar to me when I'm walking my dog, they will do what they can to plan the day carefully and stay up with their hounds, but occasionally things don't go to plan and that is a risk that they take, and when incidents happen like your fence getting broken then they do (or should do) everything they can to apologise and make amends. (Definitely get in touch with the hunt in question, tell them about the damage and ask them to fix it).

Generally hunting takes place in areas where there are very few people, so it can mostly carry on without causing anyone else any problems, but when it comes into contact with people and towns there is no doubt it seems like a complete anachronism. We are all so used to living with systems and rules and hunting does not seem very compatible with a world of risk assessments and litigation. Which is part of why I think it is utterly magical!

(As an aside, I have had hound puppies living with me a few times, and actually they were never that interested in my cat! unlike the lurcher....)

FemelleReynard Thu 26-Jan-17 17:03:26

I agree it's not great, and it doesn't create a good image of fox hunting. If you let us know where you are, we might be able to identify the hunt and find details for you to contact them OP?

BusterTheBulldog Thu 26-Jan-17 17:10:34

I want to support our local hunt (though have never hunted myself) due to jobs etc. However they have behaved awfully in the past. Hounds lost in our fields for hours with no sign of anyone looking for it. Trying to scare fox (I know!) out of hedges by whippers in entering our fields on foot and terrifying horses. There is always an element of them portraying to be horse / animal lovers too but all my experiences of them the past few years have lived up to stereotype.

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