On Wednesday 15th July the UK government is allowing a free vote on whether to repeal the Hunting Act. MPs will be voting on whether to let a pack of dogs “flush out” foxes, rather than just the two allowed now. This is a tactical amendment and is an underhand way of repealing Labour’s 2004 fox hunting ban without having to completely overturn legislation.
This repeal would not only allow fox, deer and mink hunting, hare hunting and coursing, it would also allow the use of terriers and lurchers to fight and kill foxes, deer, hares and mink.
HOWL believes that the chasing and killing of live animals is barbaric, outdated and has no place in modern Britain. We urge you to show your support and save the ban. We do have a compassion for animals and a large percentage of us (70-80%) supported the Hunting Act 2004, so let’s protect it!
If you care about this issue and would like to take action, please email your MP urging them to defend the the Hunting Act now.
You can show your support here – http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/hunting/takeaction/-/articleName/CAM_Foxhunting_TakeAction
To help, the RSPCA has produced a great page outlining the myths surrounding the Hunting Act. HOWL has included them below:
Fact vs. Fiction
Fiction: Hunting is essential to control the fox population
Fact: The idea that fox hunting is a wildlife management service is completely unfounded and there’s no scientific evidence to support the argument that hunting with dogs is necessary for controlling the fox population.
The Westminster Government’s inquiry into Hunting With Dogs, concluded:
The overall contribution of traditional fox hunting…is almost certainly insignificant in terms of the management of the fox population as a whole.
In fact, some hunts have even encouraged foxes to live and breed in their area by building artificial earths and putting food down to make sure there are enough foxes to be hunted for so-called ‘sport’.
Fiction: Foxes are dangerous to people and pets!
Fact: This is simply scaremongering.
Confirmed attacks on people are extremely rare and as TV presenter and wildlife expert Chris Packham pointed out, you’re in fact approximately 62 times more likely to be bitten by a human than you are a fox.
There’s also no evidence that the parasites and diseases foxes may be carrying pose any significant risk to people or domestic pets and there are very few attacks by foxes on domestic pets as foxes are natural scavengers.
Fiction: Hunting is humane, foxhounds are trained to kill with a nip to the back of the neck
Fact: You don’t need to be a scientist to know that chasing a mammal, often to the point of exhaustion and allowing a pack of dogs to rip it apart, in the name of ‘sport’, is inhumane.
A study of post-mortem examinations of foxes killed by hounds above ground undermined this claim, indicating that the animals died from profound trauma inflicted by multiple dog bites rather than a ‘quick bite to the neck’.
The study showed that in many cases foxes are disemboweled first. The Burns report also concluded that hunting with dogs causes animal suffering both during the latter stages of the chase and at the kill.
Fiction: The Hunting Act has done nothing for animal welfare
Fact: The RSPCA, League Against Cruel Sports, CPS and police have successfully prosecuted 344 people for offences under the Hunting Act since it came into force. The number of successful prosecutions under the Hunting Act compares favourably with other wildlife legislation aimed at protecting animals.
Fiction: Hunts target old, weak and sick animals to maintain the health of the population
Fact: This is nonsense. Hounds will pick up the scent of any fox they happen upon during the hunting season regardless of their health.
This claim also conveniently ignores the barbaric act of cub hunting, when fox cubs were specifically targeted for pre-season hunting, each year, to train the new hounds to kill.
Fiction: Nobody has the right to ban a sport, this is an issue of civil liberties
Fact: There’s no human right to be cruel to an animal in the name of ‘sport’ or otherwise. Such challenges to the law have been thrown out by the European Court of Human Rights and the House of Lords.
The Hunting Act does nothing to stop people from participating in the ceremony of the hunt and riding across the country on horseback with their hounds, nor from participating in cruelty free alternatives such as drag hunting. It only stops the violent spectacle of an animal being torn limb from limb.