Hunting in pursuit of the inedible

Fox
Fox
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Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance must think we are all idiots when he makes excuses for the pursuit of foxes, which he claims “have to be controlled”.

He states that hunting provides a service to farmers. It does nothing for cattle farmers and all it does for arable farmers is remove their best allies in rabbit control at a cost of £200-£800 per year.

Reliable research indicates that around 10 per cent of lambs are lost per year, of which 5 per cent may be due to foxes. Yes, this really does mean 5 per cent of 10 per cent or more simply, 0.5 per cent of the total lambs per year.

If anyone benefits at all from fox hunting, it is the pheasant shooters who buy in a tame battery-bred alien species for the pleasure of killing them and usually burying the remains.

Further properly researched evidence indicates that due to strong territorial behavior new foxes move into vacated territory within days and thrive once the previous occupier has been hunted.

Mr Bonner would have us believe that hunters now follow the law and flush foxes out to guns. Perhaps he can explain why many hunts don’t bother to pretend to have guns available?

Perhaps Mr Bonner can tell us why badger setts, used in desperation by fleeing foxes, are stopped up the day before the hunters set off innocently following the carefully prearranged scent trail. He might even be able to explain his claim that being torn to pieces by dozens of dogs is more humane than being attacked by two. And if he is so interested in being humane he might like to explain why fox cubs are taken from their mothers and kept for release on the day of the hunt, if removal of vermin is the genuine objective.

The fox hounds, if they are not shot at a young age for failing to make the grade, live for five or six years before they are unceremoniously dispensed with. Have you ever heard of rehoming a fox hound?

May I ask Tim Bonner why the proposed amendments to the Hunting Act were not voted upon if as he says the majority of MPs in government were in favour? Also how can the Countryside Alliance claim that its views on hunting are the views of the countryside when a major survey revealed that a majority of rural dwellers were against hunting?

Mr Bonner, stop clinging to the hope that Star readers are ignorant townies. Examine your conscience and then if you are still proud of what you stand for, tell it how it is and defend it with truth, not patronisation.

Graham