Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Veterinarians Call for End to "the Ban"

Fox populations are exploding in the U.K. and the issue of control is moot. The only question now is whether it will be through vehicle impact, starvation, disease, poison, shooting, snares, or a return to hunting with hounds.

A bipartian Parliamentary group in the UK, working with the Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management, has issued a new report [PDF] which concludes that hunting with dogs is the most effective way of controlling foxes, and that all arguments of cruelty are "invalid" as predation by larger canids has been the way of the fox since before man walked the earth.

The publication goes on to to note that hunting with hounds is "demonstrably the natural and most humane method of control," and there was "never any scientific evidence" to support a ban.

The all-party parliamentary Middle Way Group worked with the Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management (500 veterinarians across the U.K.) to produce the document, which concludes that the hunting ban of 2004 is "unscientific, unenforceable, socially divisive, and harms, rather than improves, animal welfare," and called for the ban to be repealed.

Alison Hawes, regional director of the Countryside Alliance, said the findings were another step towards the repeal of the ban which the organisation has been campaigning for: "We are now looking at the probability of a repeal, rather than the possibility. The ball is really rolling in that direction."

David Cameron has already pledged the Conservatives will hold a free vote on the issue in Parliament if they come to power in an election likely to be held next year.

Trapping is not an option for fox control in the U.K., as it is in the U.S., because the use of traps was banned in the 1950s. Ironically, the ban on traps was supported by the mounted hunts who thought it would strengthen their hand as the "preferred" method of fox control. >> To read more >> To read the press release [.doc]



retrieverman said...

I certainly hope this ban does get repealed. I also hope the one on leghold traps gets repealed, too.

This is what happens when your hunting cultures is based upon class. When only the elite and privileged have access to this activity, then those who don't become more than a little resentful. I believe Animal Rights fanaticism, at least in Europe, is mostly the result of not having an egalitarian hunting culture. America is far less egalitarian than Europe on so many fronts, but on hunting, trapping, and fishing, we have a very egalitarian culture.

Now, American animal rights fanaticism, I think comes from Inglehart's post-materialist thesis. Once a large sector of people in society no longer have to worry about economic issues, a whole subculture of political issues that have nothing to do with economy pop up. If you look at what we fight about in the United States, most of it is very much not based in economics (now, in this recession, that all may change.)

PBurns said...



Leonore said...

If they'd bothered to ask, we could have told them this was exactly what was going to happen. Thanks for the links, great reads.

Viatecio said...

I'd venture to guess that another problem is that people (such as the bleeding hearts who believe in being 'humane' and 'ethical', AR or not) forget that animals are animals and will act as such. People try to elevate them to human status without remembering that they don't have that capability, no matter how cute or fluffy they are.

It's no wonder we're seeing all the troubles with animals, from wildlife down to our own pets. No one wants to shoot the suburban deer because they're 'cute' and have big eyes, never mind the injuries and damage they cause outside the backyard. No, give them birth control so they can't reproduce. No one wants to tell their dog 'No' or correct it because that'll hurt it's feelings and make it hate you, and hence destroy forever your bond with it. No, give up and send it to the shelter because it's uncontrollable and might bite.

I could really hate people if I tried. But then along comes some common sense and I have to acknowledge the little glimmer that things might turn out all right.