Strengthen the Fox Hunting Ban

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Although Fox Hunting was banned in England & Wales in 2004, It is by no means an Full Ban.

Hunts in England and Wales invented the activity of ‘trail’ hunting after the fox hunting ban came in. This claims to be a non-lethal sport where the hunt simply follows a pre-laid trail rather than searching for and chasing a fox. However, years of evidence shows that hunts are using trail hunting as a cover for illegal hunting by claiming to be following a trail but still carrying on and hunting foxes the way they did before the hunting ban.

Hunts in England and Wales also use ‘exemptions’ in the Hunting Act. These were designed to allow certain types of ‘pest’ control or scientific research, but are being exploited by the hunts to give them an excuse to carry on hunting.

More than eight out of ten people are opposed to hunting. This includes more than eight out of ten people in rural areas – which shows that people who truly understand and experience what hunts do want to see it remain illegal.

Hunting is not a town vs country issue, and it is not a ‘class’ issue. More than seven out of 10 Conservative voters want hunting to remain illegal. Hunting is an issue of animal cruelty, nothing else.

Foxes naturally escape predators by going underground, but hunts employ staff to block up these escape routes the morning before a hunt meet, forcing an unnaturally long chase. If someone is found guilty of blocking a badger sett, it is often done for this reason.

If a fox does succeed in escaping underground, hunt followers send terriers down the hole to trap the fox while they dig it out and then shoot it. Again, the Burns Report concluded that the inability to escape dogs underground causes the fox ‘extreme fear’ and is a ‘serious compromise of its welfare.’

Autopsies reveal hunted foxes are not killed quickly, but endure numerous bites and tears to their flanks and hindquarters - causing enormous suffering before death. Foxes forced to face terriers underground can suffer injuries to the face, head and neck, as can the terriers.

Hunts regularly breed more puppies than are required for the hunting pack. Only the most promising are selected, often through the tradition of ‘cub hunting’, during which the riders surround an area containing fox cubs and send the hounds in to learn how to kill them. We also have recent evidence of fox cubs being thrown to the hounds at a hunt kennels – to teach the dogs that they should kill these animals. Those dogs that fail to make the grade at any stage from birth onwards are killed.