Is hunting immoral? Or even a sport?

Sooty

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Following on from posts discussing the immorality or not of turning hunting into a sport, is it actually a sport? I would think it is a sport in the way that darts is a sport, ie barely. The way I understand it, hunting exists to control vermin. The hunt also provides a service to the landowners whose land it crosses by way of pest control, conservation and fallen stock disposal. To maintain these services costs money, so people are allowed to follow the hunt across land it would not normally have access to, in return for a fee. Therefore, the hunt followers are not there primarily to see a fluffy creature torn limb from limb, but to support an important part of the rural infrastructure, and to have a good day out in the process. The actual killing is overseen by hunt staff, and nobody has to witness it who doesn’t want to. Try as I might, I can see nothing immoral about this situation. However, when you start encouraging foxes to breed deliberately so you have something to chase, that seems to contradict the argument that their numbers need controlling…
 

Ereiam_jh

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Darts is a game not a sport.

Hunting is a sport in the true sense of the word, it's one of the original sports.

Football etc have only recently become known as sports rather than 'games'.
 

severnmiles

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The first ever hunt was in 1534 and its sole purpose was pest control. Foxhunting didn't evolve into a sport until the 18th Centuary.

I truly believe it is still purely pest control in my neck of the woods - though of course the field enjoy it, but not necessarily the kill of the fox.
 

Doreys_Mum

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controlling doesn't just mean keeping numbers down, it means keeping numbers level and safe...

And something people refuse to accept is, predators with a constant source of food and no predation NEED controlling!
 

severnmiles

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So why not 'sportingly' hunt a cow or a horse? Because they aren't pests.

Hunting's first purpose is pest control.
 

Karla

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This may be true for specific types of hunting, but it's certainly not for hunting in general or foxhunting in particular.

This is how the Beaufort fox hunt started - from its own website:

"The earliest records of hounds being kennelled at Badminton date back to 1640 when the then Marquis of Worcester hunted mainly deer, but hare and fox as well. A detailed history can be accurately traced from 1728 but it was not until 1762 that the 5th Duke of Beaufort, returning with his staghounds after an unsuccessful day put his hounds onto Silk Wood - now part of the Westonbirt Arboretum - and had such a fine run with a fox that henceforth he concentrated on foxhunting; hunting the country around Badminton - now the Beaufort - as well as a large area of country north of Cirencester now the Heythrop."

Absolutely nothing to do with pest control. It was - and is - all about "sport".
 

Karla

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Firstly, I don't see why darts players can't be "sporting". They abide by "sporting" rules - written and unwritten. For example, they try not to knock over their pint glasses or belch when their opponent is throwing.

Secondly, your Master Gorgeous George says on that link:

"When we talk about Field Sports, we do so because the term refers to the sportsmanlike way in which the written and unwritten rules that have developed over the years to give the quarry a sporting chance are honoured and adhered to."

Let's take staghunting. Even the forum's most ardent supporter, Tom, calls it "cruel". He's also described a chase which lasted over EIGHT HOURS. He very candidly explained yesterday that the stag eventually stops running because it's exhausted. In its few remaining minutes alive it is surrounded by baying hounds and then shot.

In my view, the most "sporting" way to cull this creature would be to shoot it without subjecting it to a chase (the way 85% of deer are killed on Exmoor). As Burns suggested in his report, have dogs on hand to track it should it escape injured.
 

wurzel

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"Let's take staghunting. Even the forum's most ardent supporter, Tom, calls it "cruel". He's also described a chase which lasted over EIGHT HOURS. He very candidly explained yesterday that the stag eventually stops running because it's exhausted. In its few remaining minutes alive it is surrounded by baying hounds and then shot."

And the problem is...?

"In my view, the most "sporting" way to cull this creature would be to shoot it without subjecting it to a chase (the way 85% of deer are killed on Exmoor). As Burns suggested in his report, have dogs on hand to track it should it escape injured."

Isn't it strange they didn't ban hunting?
 

Karla

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The problem is, Tom, that you get pleasure from an activity which you yourself describe as "cruel".
 

Nigel

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Hi Karla,

Of course hunting is a sport, and I go because I enjoy it. However I disagree with your last statement, and feel your example of the Beaufort Hunt from 1762 is inappropriate for the today’s hunting debate. Woodlands and landscapes have changed for example. Many parts of England and Wales Traditional un/mounted hunting did have a relatively strong pest control element attached, other areas weaker. And the only surveys I have seen suggest killing foxes solely for sport is not a common reason.


Regards

Nigel
 

Ereiam_jh

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Many antis think in a (to coin a phrase) one-dimensional way with regard to hunting. They seem unable to realise that it can be BOTH a sport AND a means of pest control.
 

wurzel

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I get pleasure from sheep farming.

I am sure many aspects of it you would consider to be cruel.

It is a cruel world Karl.

It is cruel when a Badger rips the leg off a lamb and leaves it.

It is cruel when a stoat attacks a rabbit outside my bedroom window.

It is cruel the way the government encourage me to snare foxes.

It is cruel the way crows peck the eyes of my sheep when they roll on their backs.

It is a cruel, cruel world in the countryside Karl.

Best stay where you are.

I still don't see the problem.
 

Nigel

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Hi All,


Just a thought, if those twisted idiots at IFAW or LACS saw my last posting it would no doubt appear on their websites in a fact sheet and will read,


Foxhunting is a sport and nothing less, all hunters admit this, “Of course hunting is a sport, and I go because I enjoy it” and the fox is killed “solely for sport”


Chuckle

Nigel
 
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