Saturday, September 17, 2005

Ex-RSPCA boss: bring back fox hunting with dogs

Woops -- the people were right. Again.

From The Birmingham Post:

A former chairman of the RSPCA has attacked the organisation for supporting the fox hunting ban.

John Hobhouse said shooting foxes was crueller than hunting with hounds which should be allowed under licence with extra legal protection for wild animals.

In a letter to The Times, John Hobhouse, who was a member of the RSPCA council for 20 years and its chairman for seven, said: "Recent peer-reviewed research demonstrating high levels of wounding in shot foxes, shows that more animals will suffer for weeks before gangrene finally causes a painful death.

"It must bring many people to accept the irksome truth that shooting creates greater cruelty for the fox than hunting with hounds.

" The Hunting Act is severely flawed and unworkable. It should be amended as a matter of urgency. For an Act of Parliament, purporting to relieve animal suffering, to do exactly the opposite is very sad.

"That the RSPCA, which does immensely important work on so many animal welfare fronts, has been party to this fiasco is a tragedy for the many animals the Act sought to protect.

"It was also a mistake to give the impression that hunting hounds could be taken in by the RSPCA kennels.

"These animals if they can be re-homed at all, will require far more attention than other dogs and the RSPCA will not be able to cope. For every hound saved, four or five other dogs will be denied help."

Lembit Opik, Liberal Democrat MP and co-chair of the Middle Way Group of MPs which wants licensed hunting, said: "I am encouraged but not surprised that Mr Hobhouse has taken this view."

"Now, here's the deal, we only have room at the RSPCA for one of you."

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