Saturday, 15 January 2011


D'you know, every time that I think I've calmed down about the alleged Hunting Ban along comes somebody to wind me up over it again. This time it was Robin Page in the Weekend Telegraph, who until he got slung off of One Man and his Dog some years ago, used to write sensible articles about the countryside. Since then all he does is rant about green politics and generally hate anybody that doesn't agree with his vision of the countryside.
Today, he was siding with the Hunts again and moaning about how stupid this continuing Ban is and how it is one reason for the increase of foxes everywhere. I get so wound up about this smoke screen that Huntsmen and their supporters put up about this alleged Ban and about how its not allowing them to go out, and how its threatening the existence of their packs of hounds, etc, etc. There is nothing to stop these people from enjoying charging about the countryside on their horses and with their hounds, all that's been stopped is their enjoyment at chasing a fox until its lungs give out, that's all. And if you live here on Sheppey its still possible to watch that occur because the Hunt, a few times each winter, still hunt in the traditional way, just as they always have.

Aided and abetted by the farmers whose land they hunt over, they turn up, unload their horses and hounds, unload the quad bikes with terrier men and terriers onboard and off they go after the first fox. Not only that, as is their traditional arrogant way, they also ignore the pleas of a few smaller properties out there to not go onto their land and do just that.

Now, I want to make it clear that I'm not against most pest control, which includes foxes, because as a hands on reserve worker I've seen the damage that foxes and the like can do to things like ground nesting birds colonies and have come to realise that simply "leaving things to nature" doesn't work. But what I do demand is that something should be killed as immediate and humanely as possible, not chased for a few miles for fun first. That's all the Hunts are about, killing for fun, controls are just a cover up.

Lets also consider how many foxes that a Hunt actually kill during one of these days out, probably 3-4 if they were really lucky, if they were really serious about their position as fox controllers they could probably kill far more, and more humanely and regularly, by going out at night with high-powered rifles and lights.

And lastly, one practise that used to go on in official hunting times and possibly still does is that of fox-earth protection. Yes, some hunts would actually safeguard some earths and their vixens in order to guarantee a supply of foxes for the following season's hunting and it has also been known for them to move fox cubs onto a barren estate. That fact somehow gets overlooked when they claim that a Ban prevents them from providing a fox control service in the countryside.

There is a lot of deceit being, and always has been, employed by the Hunts and those people that sit in their warm armchairs and smugly think that an alleged Ban is working, or that huntsmen deserve some sympathy, need to get out and look behind the smokescreen.


  1. Preaching to the converted here Derek. Try writing to the telegraph.

  2. I must admit that I am a Fox lover and whilst I may agree that foxes need controlling, simply dressing up to look look posh and trying to convince the world that they are controlling the population does not win over the majority, i think!! A good read Derek, keep it up.

  3. Thanks Marc and pretty much echoing my comments.

    Warren, I did write to the Telegraph a couple of weeks ago on this subject and they so reduced my letter that it looked like a 6yr old wrote it.

  4. Well said, Derek. Agree with everything you say 100 per cent.
    Apart from it being an evil and barbaric way to kill an animal it is, as you say, a totally inefficient method that has nothing to do with controlling fox numbers, just an excuse to inflict cruelty and satisfy blood-lust.

  5. I assume you've called the police and got a log number.

    Saddens me that the Law is being ignored so blatantly.

    keep up the good work



  6. Very well said, and thank you!

    My own on-line response to Robin Page was as follows:

    "I know Robin Page. I like Robin Page. Robin Page is a fellow Cambridgeshire farmer and, like me, a born and bred countryman. He and I agree on some things. The Tories have betrayed many of their supporters, of which I also used to be one. I suppose that their worst betrayal is getting into a Brokeback coalition with the Liberals and then raising taxes which hit the hardest in the rural areas and that they didn't anticipate during the election - 'We have no plans to raise VAT to 20%' - they're liars, the lot of them.

    But Mr Page is on less strong ground with regard to fox hunting, hare coursing, stag hunting, etc., for, whilst Cameron, Hague, Herbert, Paice, etc., said that they would permit a free vote, they know now that they no longer have the House of Commons support to make it worthwhile. I hate the so-called 'sports' of fox hunting, hare coursing, stag hunting, etc., because I can't cope with the idea of killing animals for fun. There are millions more like me out here. There are many less like the hunting-supporting and prominent Conservative MEP* whom I advised to go drag hunting instead of 'the real thing' in order to comply with the Hunting Act 2004 (which was passed with support from all parties). Do you know what the 'man' said? 'Drag hunting is like sucking a sweetie with the wrapper on.'

    If one sucks this 'sweetie' without 'the wrapper on,' the fox is chased to exhaustion and then torn limb from limb by a number of hounds, not killed by the 'quick nip at the back of the neck,' as the mythologists claim. And what about the foxes that 'go to ground' and are then dug out and thrown, literally, to the hounds? This so-called 'sport' - like hare coursing and stag hunting - is utterly disgusting and those who participate in it ought to be ashamed of themselves. Politicians who back them ought to be doubly ashamed of themselves."

  7. Geoffrey,

    Thank you for sharing your excellent on-line response with us, which quite clearly hit the nail right on the head.
    I hope that the readers of this blog will also share your sentiments.

  8. I am so glad you mentioned the breeding that Hunts have admitted and bragged about for years. When this is discussed they often blame farmers which makes me sick some more. They claim that they are managing the countryside for the farmers but I know of many farmers who's livelihoods are actually being destroyed by constant hunting on their land.
    A very accurate and well balanced blog post.