Hunting is in a spot of bother

Miss_Millie

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I liken this quite a lot to football violence back in the 70's and 80's . It wasn't the fault of the owners and managers of football clubs that there was violence associated on a large scale with attendance at football matches. But it was within the powers of those people to stop it, and stop it they eventually did.

I believe it's within the power of trail hunting to stop the confrontation. This is what i would do in the same situation as you face.

Disassociate yourselves very publicly, with a big PR push, from illegal hunters. People inside hunting know who they are. Let everyone know that any hunt which is not a member of your new association can be assumed to be hunting illegally.

Lay your trails with a non-fox scent and film yourselves doing it. Film yourselves following that trail. Ask for official hunt monitoring from an independent organisation.

I'd be extremely surprised if your sabbing problems continued.
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I agree, I think that hunting needs a re-brand and to make its stance on illegal fox hunting extremely clear. I think this is what it will take to save the sport now, after several years of really bad press.
 

Koweyka

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Something that I have been wondering about...could all hounds not be muzzled? The plastic mesh type muzzles so they can still smell normally. That would solve the issue of them 'accidentally' happening upon foxes or killing livestock or pets.
This is something a lot of anti’s ask tbh, we were concerned that muzzles would be caught on the undergrowth they are invariably put through when looking for a fox or whether there would be issues with them panting when they need to cool down.
 

Gallop_Away

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That is a completely related question.
I will put this very simply for you...
I do not condone any violence or abuse on either side. No one should be harming animals sabs or hunters. If sabs harm hounds or horses that is clearly wrong as it is if hunters do the same.
This thread is titled " HUNTING IS IN A SPOT OF BOTHER." it clearly is and mainly because hunts ARE hunting foxes. That is the plain truth. from the webinars to the fox stabbing incident to the Warwickshire killing THREE times in a matter of days.
IF trail hunting wants to survive its got to stop all this. FOX hunting is illegal and should be stopped NOW After all you have had 16 years to get used to it.
The fact is if there were no illegal hunting there would be no need for sabs but as clearly hunts can not be trusted to hunt within the law sabs will continue to go out.
Yes, there are faults on both sides here, but come on admit it to yourselves hunts break the law by hunting foxes. If they didnt there would be no need for sabs.
Agree with you on every point and thank you for clearly acknowledging the bad behaviour of some hunt sabs. However I don't agree with your last point as my own experience has taught me something quite different, but that is a different topic entirely.
 

palo1

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Well when you have the head of the MFHA convicted in crown court for advising hunts on “how to kill foxes and get away with it” and the hunting act which makes it incredibly difficult to secure a conviction due to the fallacy of “getting the golden shot” and the CPS setting the evidence bar very high. Then combine that with what was up until the conviction a very biased police force who also fell for the smokescreen, getting a hunting conviction was nigh on impossible.

Though times are changing and more police forces have seen through the smoke and we expect to see more prosecutions going forward.

Also there is a bill going through parliament at the moment that will hopefully stop the use of animal based scents on hunts, which will clearly cause issues for a lot of hunts, but after seventeen years you can’t say you haven’t had enough time to retrain your hounds can you.
When you consider the absolute conditions you are talking about; the law which the anti-hunt pressed so hard for, the law the Parliament Act had to be invoked for in order to pass it, the law that the legislators and the prime minister of the time admitted was not about animal welfare, the law that allowed for fox hunting to continue albeit 'through the back door' if you like; the law that has no support due to it's unworkability or enforcement, the pressure on police forces to deal with all manner of other things which impact more people more severely; the law that allows for legal exemptions that are sneaky, ill-conceived and designed to trap both hunters and anti-hunters into an constant cycle of accusation, claim and counter claim, do you really feel you have the high moral ground or that it is so 'shocking' that there has been abuse of the law?

Apart from your very personal view about hunting, how do you think the hunting community, after nearly 700 years of hunting with hounds was suddenly going to abandon their attitudes, customs and ideologies under those conditions and because a group that they were deeply and fundamentally opposed to, told them to? I understand your commitment to animal welfare but can you look outside your own views and see how things look from a very different perspective without those judgements? If not, then you are missing a trick in terms of trying to make change - it is an absolute essential tenet of negotiation to understand, truly understand, the viewpoints and experiences of your opponents.

The Head of the MFHA being convicted is probably a good thing - though the trap was laid for him in the passing of the act and the refusal of hunters to keep firmly on the right side of an almost impossibly thin line in terms of the Act. Enacting change upon a community rarely ends well (see my post about the Faroe Islands earlier) but forcing us (and I mean both hunters and anti-hunters, the police, the CPS) to interpret and work according to that act is not the fault of hunters. Appalling behaviour should be dealt with, as should any instance of animal cruelty on all sides and the law exists for that even outside the Hunting Act. Any change in the use of scent for trail hunting would help to clarify things for some people - though I think personally that is a bit of a red herring and again, very, very difficult to enforce. That change will not cause a lot of issues for a lot of hunts @Koweyka because in spite of your constant rhetoric many hunts are safely and successfully hunting within the law now. Btw, beggar all hunts will be buying fox urine (though some might) so please do not think that hunting is contributing to fox farming; as far as I know, more hunts use dead shot fox or the huntsman's own urine (cheap and accessible) as Drag hunts have done for years.

On an entirely personal note I have to say that I would like to have seen anti hunt protestors do more to support fox populations and habitats to replace those lost with the Hunting Act. I think so much more could and should have been done by a community who asserted they wanted to save foxes and improve the conditions of life for foxes than has ever been done. I think the anti hunt movement should have made the most of the Act to carry out research about the impact of that on Foxes. That hasn't been done of course and I think it is because they preferred fund raising for the masking up and confrontation than fund raising for research, habitat preservation or working with landowners and other agencies to that end.

I don't like seeing the shot dead foxes (often 6 or 7 at a time) and feel sadness and anger that an animal that was, somewhat by chance, revered and supported by a community in this country because of it's association with hunting, to have been reduced and brought low in the way it has. I lay part of the blame for that, for the decline in fox numbers, for it's loss of viable country, for it's loss of status in our culture , for the poor health of many urban foxes (and their being dumped in the countryside only to starve or be attacked by other foxes) at the hands of the anti-hunt movement who have used a baseline of sentimentality and the blunt, un-specified and sometimes appallingly anthropomorphic instrument of 'cruelty' to base their wider campaign on. The association of the anti-hunt movement with other organisations that base their work entirely on human assumptions about what is good for animals is pretty undisputed, though I get that you will say I am also trying to assert what is 'good' for animals. I guess I hope that I don't base that judgement on just one requisite of 'cruelty'. That is important of course but I think in the wider environmental sense there are definitely difficulties and issues in the relationship between animal welfare and environmental gains. I don't want, and never have wanted to return to some pre-industrial fantasised landscape but it is absolutely vital that we use what we know, without prejudice or sentimentality, to support nature, our environment and the health of all our species of animals. The Hunting Act and all the ground won and lost by both parties seems pretty irrelevant to that more important task to me.
 

Sandstone1

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Agree with you on every point and thank you for clearly acknowledging the bad behaviour of some hunt sabs. However I don't agree with your last point as my own experience has taught me something quite different, but that is a different topic entirely.
Maybe the hunt you go out with does trail hunt, but sadly there are many that do not, I have no doubt that there are sabs that behave badly as there are hunters. Hunts like the Warwickshire and others are clearly spoiling trail hunting for the hunts that do hunt within the law. The fact is in this day and age with drones, mobile phones and cameras the law breakers can not and will not get away with it.
 

Koweyka

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Yes yes you have said all of that before and you have been answered and you ignore the answers so forgive me for not going through it all point by point.
What I will say is because something has happened for 700 years does not make it right, by your logic burning at the stake, children in chimneys, bear baiting should not be frowned upon as they took place for an extended time, there is the great quote “tradition is peer pressure by dead people” this is true of hunting.

Moral high ground …. Well I have never killed an animal for fun or “sport” or supported or taken part in any organisation that harms or has the potential to harm a living sentient creature, so yes I believe I have the moral high ground when it comes to animal welfare over anyone who sets out to hurt, chase and terrify and kill a living creature.

I try to see from the other side, in fact I have had many discussions with hunters over the years, I have been able to understand their point of view, I don’t agree with it, but I know I have made them change their views and in some cases their ways.

Then I watch the attached video of the Warwickshire killing this tiny little deer yesterday, I watched him struggle in the mud trying to escape before his throat was ripped out and hounds trotted off with his flesh in their jaws and it’s reminded me just how vile hunting is and I hope the Warwickshire hurry the demise of trail hunting.

For all the Blood/Drag packs you should be worried because the theory amongst the antis is ….when trail hunting ends and it will, all those involved in trail will move to blood and drag packs and why should we believe that they have changed their ways and not set out to corrupt and hunt fox or deer or hares or pet cats. The trail hunts will and are dragging you down with them


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...HQ_7WnafVOSs8MUzjMA6fUGKtHfK25t1FyomReLo4BEuU
 

Sandstone1

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Yes yes you have said all of that before and you have been answered and you ignore the answers so forgive me for not going through it all point by point.
What I will say is because something has happened for 700 years does not make it right, by your logic burning at the stake, children in chimneys, bear baiting should not be frowned upon as they took place for an extended time, there is the great quote “tradition is peer pressure by dead people” this is true of hunting.

Moral high ground …. Well I have never killed an animal for fun or “sport” or supported or taken part in any organisation that harms or has the potential to harm a living sentient creature, so yes I believe I have the moral high ground when it comes to animal welfare over anyone who sets out to hurt, chase and terrify and kill a living creature.

I try to see from the other side, in fact I have had many discussions with hunters over the years, I have been able to understand their point of view, I don’t agree with it, but I know I have made them change their views and in some cases their ways.

Then I watch the attached video of the Warwickshire killing this tiny little deer yesterday, I watched him struggle in the mud trying to escape before his throat was ripped out and hounds trotted off with his flesh in their jaws and it’s reminded me just how vile hunting is and I hope the Warwickshire hurry the demise of trail hunting.

For all the Blood/Drag packs you should be worried because the theory amongst the antis is ….when trail hunting ends and it will, all those involved in trail will move to blood and drag packs and why should we believe that they have changed their ways and not set out to corrupt and hunt fox or deer or hares or pet cats. The trail hunts will and are dragging you down with them


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...HQ_7WnafVOSs8MUzjMA6fUGKtHfK25t1FyomReLo4BEuU
Completely agree with everything you have said and also can not be bothered to reply once again to Palo1s reams of waffle.
 

Sandstone1

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Could I ask a polite question of the pro hunters and or people who trail hunt please? In the case of a accidental kill happening does the hunt have a legal requirement to inform the Police what has happened? I was under the impression that they do but am not 100% sure.
 

Clodagh

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Could I ask a polite question of the pro hunters and or people who trail hunt please? In the case of a accidental kill happening does the hunt have a legal requirement to inform the Police what has happened? I was under the impression that they do but am not 100% sure.
Not so far as I am aware. It wouldn’t actually be necessary as otherwise every dog that caught a squirrel would be reported?
I hope they do if they kill a pet but I don’t know if it’s a requirement. Do you have to inform the police if you run over a cat or dog? I don’t know.
And I’m not even qualified as although I am pro hunt I stopped after the ban.
 

palo1

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Could I ask a polite question of the pro hunters and or people who trail hunt please? In the case of a accidental kill happening does the hunt have a legal requirement to inform the Police what has happened? I was under the impression that they do but am not 100% sure.
There isn't as far as I am aware a requirement to inform the police if an accidental kill happens. You do have to inform the police if you run over a dog but not a cat.
 

Tiddlypom

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Apart from your very personal view about hunting, how do you think the hunting community, after nearly 700 years of hunting with hounds was suddenly going to abandon their attitudes, customs and ideologies under those conditions and because a group that they were deeply and fundamentally opposed to, told them to? I understand your commitment to animal welfare but can you look outside your own views and see how things look from a very different perspective without those judgements? If not, then you are missing a trick in terms of trying to make change - it is an absolute essential tenet of negotiation to understand, truly understand, the viewpoints and experiences of your opponents.
The law changed, that's what, so old style fox hunting is illegal, and has been since the Hunting Act 2004 came into force. What's so hard to comprehend about that 🤷‍♀️?

So some people weren't happy, and would rather that the old ways continued?

Tough. Deal with it. It's well past time to move on.
 

palo1

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@Koweyka ''Then I watch the attached video of the Warwickshire killing this tiny little deer yesterday, I watched him struggle in the mud trying to escape before his throat was ripped out and hounds trotted off with his flesh in their jaws and it’s reminded me just how vile hunting is and I hope the Warwickshire hurry the demise of trail hunting.''

The Warwickshire are certainly doing a great deal to bring hunting down - I agree. As a fox hound pack there is no way those hounds should have rioted on that deer, with or without the huntsman nearby. That is dire management and control no doubt about it. Appalling. I don't think it constitutes an offence under the law unless there is evidence that the huntsman deliberately encouraged hounds in that situation. As a fox hound pack that would be 'odd'. There is no situation in which that should have happened but I still don't think it is illegal or would 'have' to be reported. Deer have few rights under the law except that of ownership.
 

palo1

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The law changed, that's what, so old style fox hunting is illegal, and has been since the Hunting Act 2004 came into force. What's so hard to comprehend about that 🤷‍♀️?

So some people weren't happy, and would rather that the old ways continued?

Tough. Deal with it. It's well past time to move on.
I think you entirely misunderstood my question but there we are.
 

Sandstone1

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Not so far as I am aware. It wouldn’t actually be necessary as otherwise every dog that caught a squirrel would be reported?
I hope they do if they kill a pet but I don’t know if it’s a requirement. Do you have to inform the police if you run over a cat or dog? I don’t know.
And I’m not even qualified as although I am pro hunt I stopped after the ban.
Thank you, I see your point but I thought any more than two dogs could be classed as a pack.
 

Sandstone1

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@Koweyka ''Then I watch the attached video of the Warwickshire killing this tiny little deer yesterday, I watched him struggle in the mud trying to escape before his throat was ripped out and hounds trotted off with his flesh in their jaws and it’s reminded me just how vile hunting is and I hope the Warwickshire hurry the demise of trail hunting.''

The Warwickshire are certainly doing a great deal to bring hunting down - I agree. As a fox hound pack there is no way those hounds should have rioted on that deer, with or without the huntsman nearby. That is dire management and control no doubt about it. Appalling. I don't think it constitutes an offence under the law unless there is evidence that the huntsman deliberately encouraged hounds in that situation. As a fox hound pack that would be 'odd'. There is no situation in which that should have happened but I still don't think it is illegal or would 'have' to be reported. Deer have few rights under the law except that of ownership.
Would the law on having dogs dangerously out of control not apply here? If I had my pet dogs rampaging around the countryside out of control I would be in trouble would I not? Even more so given the amount of hounds that were out of control? whats more out of sight?
 

HashRouge

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I don't like seeing the shot dead foxes (often 6 or 7 at a time) and feel sadness and anger that an animal that was, somewhat by chance, revered and supported by a community in this country because of it's association with hunting, to have been reduced and brought low in the way it has. I lay part of the blame for that, for the decline in fox numbers, for it's loss of viable country, for it's loss of status in our culture , for the poor health of many urban foxes (and their being dumped in the countryside only to starve or be attacked by other foxes) at the hands of the anti-hunt movement who have used a baseline of sentimentality and the blunt, un-specified and sometimes appallingly anthropomorphic instrument of 'cruelty' to base their wider campaign on. .
I don't really understand this argument at all. Have fox numbers actually declined? I had a quick google and couldn't find any evidence of that, other than the Breeding Bird Survey from a few years ago. But that is tricky to interpret without more data. Are red fox populations declining or are they moving or changing their habits? In fact, most sources I found suggested it is very hard to know as there is no other official data and no-one is really surveying fox numbers. And if fox numbers are actually declining, find me some evidence that this is actually because of the hunting ban and not because of habitat loss, intensive farming and the ever increasing number of cars on our roads.

I also don't understand the argument that antis are somehow to blame for farmers now shooting loads of foxes. Several posters on this thread keep saying that pre-ban landowners/ farmers were apparently happy to have foxes on their land and be part of the wonderful tradition of hunting, but now they apparently need to shoot bazillions of them. I'm sorry, but something doesn't add up for me here. According to several posters on this thread the hunt was mainly picking off the old/ sick/ weak foxes, leaving alone the healthy ones. So how was that really helping the farmers/ landowners? Why were they happy to welcome/ cultivate these healthy fox populations on their land whereas now apparently they have to shoot them all? If farmers and landowners are going around completely eradicating the fox population (which pro-hunt posters keep telling us the hunts absolutely would not have done/ been in favour of) then there is only one group responsible for that (and it's not the antis!). But I'm not sure we're getting anything other than vague, anecdotal evidence that this is actually the case.

Also, where is the evidence that urban foxes are less healthy? I live in an urban area and we have a lot of foxes, and as far as I can tell they look sleek and healthy. I see lots in the very rural area where I keep my horses too, especially late evening/ early morning in the summer. I don't see evidence of the fox population "brought low" where I live; in fact, there is rarely a day that goes by without me seeing at least one healthy-looking fox going about it's business. I know this is anecdotal, but then so is your above post palo, so...
 

Sandstone1

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There isn't as far as I am aware a requirement to inform the police if an accidental kill happens. You do have to inform the police if you run over a dog but not a cat.
May be then that needs to change? If reporting each and every accidental kill was a requirement then maybe packs would be more careful.
 

palo1

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Would the law on having dogs dangerously out of control not apply here? If I had my pet dogs rampaging around the countryside out of control I would be in trouble would I not? Even more so given the amount of hounds that were out of control? whats more out of sight?
I think the issue here would be that accidents with a pack of hounds are exempt under the Hunting Act. It can only be a hunting offence if there is evidence that the huntsman deliberately, and with intent, controlled hounds in such a way as to hunt and kill that deer. Whilst the video might show the most appalling lack of control and discipline those are not offences under the Hunting Act and hounds are treated differently in law to dogs. In fact if anyone's dogs took down a deer whilst not under the owner's immediate control there would be no offence committed, neither under the Hunting Act nor any other legislation. You would have to prove an offence under Animal Welfare laws and that is notoriously difficult I think.

The issue with reporting each and every time a dog killed wildlife would be that the police would end up ignoring all those reports tbh. People would make vexatious claims about others etc. Livestock has more protection than wildlife. Or cats. It would also make the owners of dogs that chase squirrels, rats or rabbits on the wrong side of the law. That may be appropriate but it would require serious legislative change to achieve that and I don't think that is realistic or probably, for the vast majority of people, desirable. It would also mean that what is currently termed humane pest control of rats (with dogs) would become illegal so there would be unintended consequences to that and of course it would instantly outlaw shooting by default which would be extremely difficult to achieve I think.
 

palo1

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I don't really understand this argument at all. Have fox numbers actually declined? I had a quick google and couldn't find any evidence of that, other than the Breeding Bird Survey from a few years ago. But that is tricky to interpret without more data. Are red fox populations declining or are they moving or changing their habits? In fact, most sources I found suggested it is very hard to know as there is no other official data and no-one is really surveying fox numbers. And if fox numbers are actually declining, find me some evidence that this is actually because of the hunting ban and not because of habitat loss, intensive farming and the ever increasing number of cars on our roads.

I also don't understand the argument that antis are somehow to blame for farmers now shooting loads of foxes. Several posters on this thread keep saying that pre-ban landowners/ farmers were apparently happy to have foxes on their land and be part of the wonderful tradition of hunting, but now they apparently need to shoot bazillions of them. I'm sorry, but something doesn't add up for me here. According to several posters on this thread the hunt was mainly picking off the old/ sick/ weak foxes, leaving alone the healthy ones. So how was that really helping the farmers/ landowners? Why were they happy to welcome/ cultivate these healthy fox populations on their land whereas now apparently they have to shoot them all? If farmers and landowners are going around completely eradicating the fox population (which pro-hunt posters keep telling us the hunts absolutely would not have done/ been in favour of) then there is only one group responsible for that (and it's not the antis!). But I'm not sure we're getting anything other than vague, anecdotal evidence that this is actually the case.

Also, where is the evidence that urban foxes are less healthy? I live in an urban area and we have a lot of foxes, and as far as I can tell they look sleek and healthy. I see lots in the very rural area where I keep my horses too, especially late evening/ early morning in the summer. I don't see evidence of the fox population "brought low" where I live; in fact, there is rarely a day that goes by without me seeing at least one healthy-looking fox going about it's business. I know this is anecdotal, but then so is your above post palo, so...

I suggest you read some of the other material on the thread and elsewhere regarding fox numbers and fox health. There is plenty of evidence for what I have said about fox numbers, habitat and health.
 

Sandstone1

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I think the issue here would be that accidents with a pack of hounds are exempt under the Hunting Act. It can only be a hunting offence if there is evidence that the huntsman deliberately, and with intent, controlled hounds in such a way as to hunt and kill that deer. Whilst the video might show the most appalling lack of control and discipline those are not offences under the Hunting Act and hounds are treated differently in law to dogs. In fact if anyone's dogs took down a deer whilst not under the owner's immediate control there would be no offence committed, neither under the Hunting Act nor any other legislation. You would have to prove an offence under Animal Welfare laws and that is notoriously difficult I think.

The issue with reporting each and every time a dog killed wildlife would be that the police would end up ignoring all those reports tbh. People would make vexatious claims about others etc. Livestock has more protection than wildlife. Or cats. It would also make the owners of dogs that chase squirrels, rats or rabbits on the wrong side of the law. That may be appropriate but it would require serious legislative change to achieve that and I don't think that is realistic or probably, for the vast majority of people, desirable. It would also mean that what is currently termed humane pest control of rats (with dogs) would become illegal so there would be unintended consequences to that and of course it would instantly outlaw shooting by default which would be extremely difficult to achieve I think.
So by that rule then any hunt can go out and say they "Killed by accident"? The law is a ass.
 

Sandstone1

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So by that rule then any hunt can go out and say they "Killed by accident"? The law is a ass.
I do mean packs of hounds reporting a kill by the way. Not everytime someones pet dog kills a rabbit for example.
If all packs had a legal responsibility to report every kill then you might see things change for the better. The law as it stands makes it far to easy to bend the rules. I know that packs of hounds are different to pet dogs by the way otherwise the huntsman would have to carry poo bags and pick up after the hounds which does not happen even when they shit in churchyards!
 

palo1

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So by that rule then any hunt can go out and say they "Killed by accident"? The law is a ass.
At last!! Yes, the law enables all manner of things. There are both exemptions and accidents in a number of settings that are entirely 'legitimate'. As @Koweyka has acknowledged, it is extraordinarily difficult to achieve certainty at any particular point that an offence under the Hunting Act has or has not been committed. The bloke stabbing a fox with a fork is nothing to do with the Hunting Act thankfully but can be prosecuted under Animal Welfare laws.

All manner of deeply offensive and unpleasant behaviour - such as chucking a dead fox at a pack of hounds in front of sabs with the intention of taunting them etc may well be disgusting and immoral but it isn't illegal.
 

palo1

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I do mean packs of hounds reporting a kill by the way. Not everytime someones pet dog kills a rabbit for example.
If all packs had a legal responsibility to report every kill then you might see things change for the better. The law as it stands makes it far to easy to bend the rules.
But of course it does as that is what the legislators and the Act enabled. It would not have been possible for the Act to get through Parliament at all if it hadn't allowed for those loopholes. They were there because of the lack of consensus and scientific evidence needed to create a watertight act.
 

Sandstone1

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But of course it does as that is what the legislators and the Act enabled. It would not have been possible for the Act to get through Parliament at all if it hadn't allowed for those loopholes. They were there because of the lack of consensus and scientific evidence needed to create a watertight act.
I am glad we finally agree then that illegal hunting does go on.
 

palo1

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So by that rule then any hunt can go out and say they "Killed by accident"? The law is a ass.
I am surprised that you were not aware of this.

ETA - To be honest for someone who is so anti-hunting I am quite shocked that you are not familiar with the Hunting Act and it's many inadequacies. It seems pretty important to me that if you are going to campaign or protest about something that you understand it.
 
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Clodagh

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Thank you, I see your point but I thought any more than two dogs could be classed as a pack.
Yes I didn’t include that. As Palo has said the law was so badly worded as it was very contentious, it ended up being virtually meaningless. It’s intention is clear but as has been shown actually getting successful prosecutions to clarify it has been almost impossible.
 

Sandstone1

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I haven't denied that there is illegal hunting. What I was clarifying was the ways in which hunts can result in a kill without it being illegal.
So if they kill "by accident" its ok? So by taking hounds to places well known to have foxes there is a good chance that hounds will find a scent and kill?
 

palo1

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So if they kill "by accident" its ok? So by taking hounds to places well known to have foxes there is a good chance that hounds will find a scent and kill?
If you understand the Act as well as the exemptions why do you need to ask this? If you are making a point about morality then that is entirely separate to matters of legality.
 
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