Jim Barrington (former head of LACS) statement from This is Hunting UK.

palo1

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From 'This is Hunting Uk' page today:-

Jim Barrington, a former head of the League Against Cruel Sports who after much deliberation over the whole hunting issue decided that after many years of campaigning for its abolition that there was much more about the whole issue and subsequently a ban was not the way forward. Jim has studied our activities in real detail. The Hunting World is extremely fortunate to be able to seek his advice as and when required.
http://www.fortheloveofhuntingengland.com/article.../2797-2/
The Hunting Act
That moment in 2004 when the Hunting Act was passed gave the main anti-hunting organisation an opportunity to make what they would see as profound statements, not only on animal welfare but the very nature of a civilised society. Consider, just for a minute, what was said at the time:
“…the RSPCA heralds this ban on hunting with dogs as marking a watershed in the development of a more civilised society for people and animals.” (RSPCA)
“The ban on hunting with dogs will radically change the landscape of animal welfare in the UK…” (IFAW)
“The hunting ban is a massive leap forwards to the creation of a decent and humane society.” (LACS)
Now note what actually happened in those years following the passing of the Hunting Act:
In July 2005, the RSPCA announced a 78% rise in animal cruelty cases
In July 2006, the RSPCA said that conviction cases had risen by 20%
In April 2007, the RSPCA revealed that its workload had increased by 50%.
In April 2008, the RSPCA states that cases of abandoned pets rose by 25%
In May 2011, the RSPCA states that cases of alleged cruelty rose by 10%
In April 2012, the RSPCA states that cruelty cases have risen by 23.5%
In November 2012, the RSPCA reports a 65% rise in abandoned pets
In April 2013, the RSPCA states a 15% rise in cruelty cases taken to court
In April 2015, the RSPCA states a rise to 160,000 cases investigated, a rise of 9000 over 2 years.
So much for a better deal for animals.
The fact is, the Hunting Act is fundamentally flawed, not just because it ignores the unique scenting power of the dog in a wildlife management process, but because it also ignores the crucial fact that other activities will inevitably fill the vacuum, using methods that cannot possibly replicate the benefits of using dogs. Hunting is selective (through scent), testing (via the chase) and has no chance to wound (the quarry is either killed or escapes unscathed); no other method of control can make that claim. This is what is so ridiculous about the argument that because the baiting ‘sports’ have been banned, a hunting ban is the next obvious step. The two are worlds apart, as the foxhunting founder of the RSPCA, Richard Martin, forcefully explained at a time when he championed the first animal welfare law in 1822.
A cursory examination of the Hunting Act reveals how illogical and unprincipled this legislation is, yet many people will never bother to read it. It is no bad thing to encourage everyone to view this law via the internet and ask if they can point to a shred of principle or logic contained within it. If they would like a simplified list, see the attached. What is clear, however, is the fact that the law does not do what the anti-hunting groups thought it would and is a perfect example of ill-conceived legislation. The inadequacies of this law started to become apparent almost immediately causing a great deal of frustration amongst anti-hunting groups. That frustration continues to this day, as seen by the rise of hunt sabotage activity which often slides into violence.
Some crucial points must be made here. Firstly, when this Act was passed, and for some years afterwards, it was claimed that the legislation (and indeed its Scottish equivalent) was perfect and that it was only those enforcing (or not enforcing) it who were at fault for its failures. Now the tune has changed and the flaws are admitted, but blamed on pro-hunting MPs and Peers putting down wrecking amendments when the law was being debated. This claim is completely groundless, as those opposed to hunting were in the majority both in the House of Commons and during the committee stage. Though Peers did try to amend the Act, their votes were overridden by the use of the Parliament Act. The resultant legislation, therefore, is entirely the product of the anti-hunt movement.
Secondly, the anti-hunting groups seem to pick and choose their positions on various issues as and when it suits them. The attempt last year by the UK Government to amend the Hunting Act to bring it into line with the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 (the Scottish hunting legislation) is a perfect example. Initially, the Scottish law was praised by the LACS, but when the change to the flushing exemption in the English and Welsh law was proposed suddenly the Scottish law was flawed.
Why does anyone take seriously a body like the LACS that is so transparently duplicitous? This is a point that should be remembered now that the Scottish law is to be reviewed by a former High Court judge, Lord Bonomy. (see The Scottish hunting law review)
Thirdly, while anti-hunting claims and accusations have hardly changed over decades, the arguments in favour of hunting with hounds have strengthened, supported by a better understanding of hunting and the science behind it. It would be easy to make such a claim, but a good indication of its validity is the fact that in schools, colleges and clubs up and down the country, talks on hunting are welcomed. Presentations on wildlife management and the role hunting with hounds plays in that process, are particularly well received in veterinary schools. It raises the obvious question, why would young people, who have dedicated their lives to animal welfare, accept that hunting was justified unless they could see its value? This is where the nonsense of the antis’ “vast majority of the public is against hunting” argument falls down. Ask a simple or stupid question in a public opinion poll and you’ll get a simple or stupid answer. And in any case, we do not run the country on the basis of opinion poll results.
While on the subject of vets, it should be noted that the Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management brings valuable knowledge and science to the argument and recently has published a book, The Facts of Rural Life, which explains in detail the need for and benefits of wildlife management. See VAWM’s website for details (http://www.vet-wildlifemanagement.org.uk/)
It is important to understand that while things appear to have stalled on the repeal front, there is much work going on behind the scenes to bring an end to the Hunting Act - legislation that has been strongly criticised by many people totally unconnected to hunting, including legal experts, the police, veterinarians, senior civil servants and the Prime Minister at its time of coming into law, Tony Blair.
The road to repeal may be longer than hoped, but the stages are clear. Much depends on what is politically achievable at any given time. Many now think that the best way forward is ‘repeal and replace’. This may mean amending the Hunting Act in the short term to allow for the agreed exemptions to work as intended. Then, when the time is politically right, removing the Hunting Act and replacing it with a genuine animal welfare law covering all wild mammals, but with offences and convictions based on sound evidence, not opinion or prejudice. Just such a proposal has come from Labour Peer Lord Donoughue and his draft Bill, though not yet published, is certainly something everyone concerned about animal welfare should support. Repeal alone simply means that hunting remains as some kind of political pawn, to be used as and when a hostile government wants to stir up its backbenchers.
Back in 1996, the League Against Cruel Sports proudly boasted about a hunting ban, “Within a couple of months it would all be over and everyone would wonder what all the fuss was about.”, yet here we are eleven years later and the issue is still as alive as it ever was.
One of many LACS’ prediction that came to nothing, just as the Hunting Act has done nothing for animal welfare


 

ycbm

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Now note what actually happened in those years following the passing of the Hunting Act:
In July 2005, the RSPCA announced a 78% rise in animal cruelty cases
In July 2006, the RSPCA said that conviction cases had risen by 20%
In April 2007, the RSPCA revealed that its workload had increased by 50%.
In April 2008, the RSPCA states that cases of abandoned pets rose by 25%
In May 2011, the RSPCA states that cases of alleged cruelty rose by 10%
In April 2012, the RSPCA states that cruelty cases have risen by 23.5%
In November 2012, the RSPCA reports a 65% rise in abandoned pets
In April 2013, the RSPCA states a 15% rise in cruelty cases taken to court
In April 2015, the RSPCA states a rise to 160,000 cases investigated, a rise of 9000 over 2 years.
What has any of that got to do with banning fox hunting, except that some of those increases include a small number of hunting prosecutions?
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ycbm

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Some crucial points must be made here. Firstly, when this Act was passed, and for some years afterwards, it was claimed that the legislation (and indeed its Scottish equivalent) was perfect and that it was only those enforcing (or not enforcing) it who were at fault for its failures

By whom was it claimed to be perfect? I have, right from the start, seen it described as flawed.
 
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paddi22

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that is REALLY clutching at straws. those statistics are so vague as to be useless. what do they class as abandoned pets? what would an abandoned dog or cat have to do with hunting? Conviction cases cover a massive variety of animals that are not related to hunting at all? is there any further clarification at to how those stats are linked to hunting? I work with a charity and we have seen over a 20% rise in cruelty cases, but typical examples would be donkeys with overgrown hooves and cobs in housing estates. how on earth does hunting affect out stats?
 

ycbm

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The road to repeal may be longer than hoped, but the stages are clear.
I don't believe the general public will ever accept the return of fox hunting after so many years of it being illegal. Its time has passed. The issue is only "still alive as it ever was" in the hopes of a return by ardent fox hunters and because of the current outrage over the indisputable evidence that the law has been being systematically broken in much of England and Wales.

Palo you expressed regret recently that the fox hunting argument had divided otherwise harmonious relationships on the forum. I'm baffled why you've posted this immensely flawed piece of cheerleading designed only to built up the spirits of aspiring fox hunters after the disastrous podcast leak.
 
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HashRouge

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What has any of that got to do with banning fox hunting, except that some of those increases include a small number of hunting prosecutions?
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I think the writer was trying to imply that the hunting ban somehow worsened animal welfare in the UK, by pointing to the rise in animal cruelty cases and convictions etc. It seems like an excuse to stick two fingers up at the LACS and go "haha, you said the hunting ban would improve animal welfare, but things got worse for animals after the ban, not better", as though the ban was somehow the cause of this. He's confusing correlation with causation, though I can't help but feel he's doing it deliberately. I'm not sure I've ever rolled my eyes quite as hard at a source posted on this forum, it's such a weak argument and it hugely devalued the rest of his argument, which doesn't seem to contain any actual sources, despite the author's reference to the "science" behind hunting with dogs. It is an opinion piece, nothing more.
 

palo1

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I don't believe the general public will ever accept the return of fox hunting after so many years of it being illegal. Its time has passed. The issue is only "still alive as it ever was" in the hopes of a return by ardent fox hunters and because of the current outrage over the indisputable evidence that the law has been being systematically broken in much of England and Wales.

Palo you expressed regret recently that the fox hunting argument had divided otherwise harmonious relationships on the forum. I'm baffled why you've posted this immensely flawed piece of cheerleading designed only to built up the spirits of aspiring fox hunters after the disastrous podcast leak.
@ycbm - I posted this because it was put up by This is Hunting Uk - I didn't comment nor did I add to the thread that I had felt uncomfortable with in relation to divisiveness. It would also be great if you could slightly amend your posts to indicate that what you have put as my quotes are actually Jim Barrington's. This is the Hunting related part of the forum and this post from Jim Barrington would be of interest to those forum users.
 

Tiddlypom

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Let Jim Barrington blag on.

There will be no repeal, but following on from the Hunting Office webinar leaks the whole future of hunting with hounds (trail and drag) is now in doubt.

Palo, as you know, a number of us who frequent the Hunting Forum did used to hunt pre ban. Most of us agreed that, on the whole, the countryside and the fox population was managed better in those days simply to provide sport.

Those days will never return. Public sentiments would never permit it. In addition, the Hunting Office has by its ineptness sounded the death knell for trail hunting at the least, whether legal or as a cover or ‘smokescreen’ for fox hunting.
 

ycbm

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@ycbm - I posted this because it was put up by This is Hunting Uk - I didn't comment nor did I add to the thread that I had felt uncomfortable with in relation to divisiveness. This is the Hunting related part of the forum and this post from Jim Barrington would be of interest to those forum users.
Palo, I think the fact that you didn't comment, combined with you being an ardent defender on the forum of hunting and have clearly stated you want it to return, justified readers like me in concluding that you supported what you posted?

I really didn't realise that you posted it solely for information of like minded people. I'm afraid HHO became an unsafe place for uncritical sharing of hunting information many years ago. Fairly ironic considering its origins, but that's social media for you 🤷‍♀️. I'm sure hunting as a whole and individual hunts have Facechattok accounts where this is being widely and uncritically shared.

The piece actually made me feel sad for the people who loved their sport and so desperately want it to return that they can convince themselves after all these years that it's going to be possible.
 

ycbm

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Thank you for amending the quotes @ycbm.
I hope you understand that I'm not mocking or patronising when I say I feel sad for you Palo. I know what is like to yearn to be able to do something you can no longer do. Your posts ring with longing for a return to a slower and less complicated time when humankind was more in tune with the environment.
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splashgirl45

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what i dont understand is if hunting with dogs is banned because of fox welfare, why are foxes still being killed by flushing out with dogs and then shooting...either fox hunting is completely banned or it isnt. i would also wonder how many foxes are wounded and get away. its about time a study was done on that. i am not a fan of foxhunting but having friends who have suffered losses of pet rabbits from their garden by foxes witnessed by the whole family i am not really a fan of foxes either
 

palo1

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Those are kind words @ycbm. :) I don't feel patronised or mocked at all - I understand how different people interpret things in hugely varying ways! No need to feel sad for me either; I have a huge amount to be grateful for and much to look forward to. I am delighted that you have recognised the desire for 'a slower and less complicated time when humankind was more in tune with the environment.' in my posts. I don't think we will find it easier to live a slower or less complicated life but I believe it is possible for us to work toward a better relationship with our environment and with nature. :)
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ycbm

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what i dont understand is if hunting with dogs is banned because of fox welfare, why are foxes still being killed by flushing out with dogs and then shooting...either fox hunting is completely banned or it isnt. i would also wonder how many foxes are wounded and get away. its about time a study was done on that. i am not a fan of foxhunting but having friends who have suffered losses of pet rabbits from their garden by foxes witnessed by the whole family i am not really a fan of foxes either

Fox control has never been banned. They can be a pest and need controlling in some areas. The thing which is banned is a long chase. Foxes around here are just shot, they've never been flushed with hounds.

Snares are evil and should have been banned long ago. It beats me why they are still allowed to be used.
 

Orangehorse

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The "ban" wasn't really about fox welfare, as in that they need protection. Lots and lots get killed by farmers protecting lambs and by gamekeepers protecting gamebirds. It is quite legal to kill a fox, provided it isn't with a pack of hounds.
 
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