No place for live-and-let-live in an intolerant world; will hunting survive?

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I am beginning to doubt it.

Just before Christmas, while standing in a queue outside an Italian restaurant in Borough Market, I (and the entire queue) was harangued by a sandal-clad vegan with a megaphone. Turning it to max, and standing about 10 feet away, he roundly scolded us in a vaguely offensive way for patronising that utterly blameless establishment. I don't mind vegetarianism or veganism at all, but if I did, I hope I won't behave in the same way as Mr Sandal.

Yesterday I learned of a petition aimed at putting a stop to the Ashford Valley's traditional Boxing Day meet in Tenterden. Something similar was reported in the West Country also. The petition has been put together by LACS, accompanied by the usual type of invective and silly anti-hunting propaganda.

South of London, saboteurs are behaving with increasing boldness, using drones and intimidating farmers, landowners, publicans and others all with a view to preventing perfectly lawful hunts from going about their business. Some farmers may feel it is not worth the risk of exposing their families and farm machinery to criminal attacks from the balaclava thugs, and will think twice about allowing the hunt over their land.

In my view, the ongoing Brexit debate has served to expose an extreme form of joyless and puritanical intolerance that is fast becoming the norm in this country. It is a form of fascism, pure and simple - my way or the highway. You see someone doing something you don't understand, or having a bit of fun, and you put a stop to it.

Real hunting was pretty much run off the road by Blair. Modern hunting, and drag-hunting, are merely pale imitations of the real thing. Here and there (I won't say where) there are a few hunts still managing to do things in a reasonably authentic way, but even they are steadily losing their country to the creeping urbanisation that is the reality of modern England, not to mention the financial aspects.

I'm not being defeatist, merely a realist. Contrary to what the Countryside Alliance might wish for, I suspect the time may soon be upon us when we will say that hunting has had its day.
 

ponyparty

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Ugh, don't :( I find the whole thing thoroughly depressing. It seems these extremists won't be happy until anything vaguely resembling hunting has been consigned to the history books. I believe antis have even been known to target bloodhound packs.
The thing is, where does it stop... There are hardliners amongst these people who do not believe we should have farm animals or even pets, that it is some sort of slavery. I have seen many a comment on Facebook, on threads about horses on the roads, where people have proclaimed we should not even be riding them at all.
I do try not to be defeatist about it, but That Lot are getting a louder voice and more airtime; and with increasing urbanisation and a growing disconnect between most people in cities and the countryside - a lack of understanding, and a lack of willingness to understand - I think you might be right.
 

ponyparty

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You mean fox hunting not all hunting I am guessing?
Well no - being as drag hunting and bloodhound packs have been targeted, I think these people want rid of all of it! Unless they just can't tell the difference. I think they want rid of it all though, there's a real undercurrent of quote hostile perceived class warfare. A lot of the time it's all "toffs in red coats on horses" - as if that makes a difference to their everyday lives?!

And they are certainly against trail hunting, because they are convinced that every hunt is acting illegally, which is rubbish.
 

ponyparty

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Ahhh I get you (I think). I assumed the OP meant hunting with hounds, but it's only a matter of time before all country sports are attacked. There is already quite a bit of unwanted interest in shooting from various groups - I don't know much about it, not really my bag. So I don't think it's anything to do with whether quarry is eaten or not :-/
 

AdorableAlice

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i will take a slightly different view, although I do agree with you op.

What will put a stop to hunting before a banner waving vegan, is the ever increasing planning committees granting permissions on the green belt. Intensive farming reduces the land available and farmers not wanting the hunt across. Farmers/landowners can generate a decent seasonal income with the shoot rather than hounds, and there is much diversification going on in the countryside in general.

Just today I travelled through the Evesham/Bidford area and could not believe the quantity of houses that had been built in the surrounding villages. Fields that I have ridden across just 10 years ago with the CWW are now huge housing estates.

Hunting will survive on the big estates and some of the bigger hunts will amalgamate with the smaller packs to enable hunting to continue where there is the land available.
 

ycbm

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In my view, the ongoing Brexit debate has served to expose an extreme form of joyless and puritanical intolerance that is fast becoming the norm in this country. It is a form of fascism, pure and simple - my way or the highway. You see someone doing something you don't understand, or having a bit of fun, and you put a stop to it

That takes the biscuit for the most tenuous link to Brexit I've seen 😂

The cause is social media. It allows minority groups of people of like mind to find each other and coordinate their activities in a way which has never before been possible.

Fox hunting will die out completely because of it, I think. Likewise trail hunting where the hunt concerned is unable or unwilling to call its hounds of a fox scent. .

I see the same old story trotted out again on this thread, that drag hunts and bloodhounds are being sabbed. In the evidence provided on the last thread for this claim, the hunts concerned explicitly stated that the people concerned were not sabs, just stupid yobs acting alone.

I agree with AA, what will kill drag/trail hunting eventually is lack of space. The land I used to hunt over is now split by three major new roads in the last three years, and rapidly being unfilled with new housing.

But that's what happens if you add a third of a million to your population every year.
 
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ponyparty

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the same old story trotted out again on this thread, by the same poster,
Me?! Have I posted about that before? I don't remember doing so. Doesn't mean it didn't happen though :) just going by what I've seen (and keep seeing) on social media! You're absolutely right about that, by the way.
 

ycbm

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Me?! Have I posted about that before? I don't remember doing so. Doesn't mean it didn't happen though :) just going by what I've seen (and keep seeing) on social media! You're absolutely right about that, by the way.
Apologies if it wasn't you, my memory must be failing me.. I've edited to remove that.
 
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The cause is social media. It allows minority groups of people of like mind to find each other and coordinate their activities in a way which has never before been possible.
Agree with this ten times over. Sabs are brilliant at PR online: editing videos, putting together tangible stories out of odd bits and crowd funding/making their followers feel included. People love sharing things on social media but often fail to fact check them. The classic being a missing person post from two years ago that gets shared and shared, when on the description of the original post it says they were found later that day.

The majority of the public doesnt know anything about horses so they take the sabs ‘used for charging/ abused/ overworked’ comments as truth.
Even less know about hunting. People who know hunting would ask how hounds can be out of control at fault of the huntsmen when gizmos or horns are being used by sabs.

Yet there is little positive on social media for hunting and unfortunately hunts are becoming more and more private (which can be misconstrued as being exclusive). Gone are the days of inviting the public to come along. Outside of the Christmas period meets how many hunts would welcome foot followers that are strangers? I think this is shooting yourself in the foot behaviour.

As a guess most of the UK probably doesn’t give a toss about fox hunting (they don’t about other animal issues). So they are neutral. However they may be swayed by positive or negative stories... which do you see more of?
 
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That takes the biscuit for the most tenuous link to Brexit I've seen 😂
There is no direct link between Brexit and hunting; I simply meant that over the last two years or so, the Brexit debate appears to have brought to light a growing streak of intolerance in the country at large that was not so apparent at one time. An inability to appreciate other people's points of view and way of life if it is different to one's own.

Bit your not talking about shooting, fishing etc which results in something that can be eaten?
This is the hunting forum. If I had meant to talk about shooting or fishing, I would have posted elsewhere. Anyway, what has eating the thing got to do with it? Plenty of shoots just bury the birds afterwards in a mass grave.

Shooting comes into it later of course. Foxes are now being shot, because they are not supposed to be hunted with hounds.
 
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This is an interesting thread!

Down here in the Westcountry, we've certainly had a great deal of "sab" activity; they put up some footage on a local "Devon Live news" page, allegedly of a fox being "ripped apart by hounds", except that it patently wasn't........ it was very obviously roadkill, looking at the injuries on it.

On this particular social media group, when anyone (such as myself) tried to point out that this wasn't a fox that had been "ripped apart by hounds" but roadkill, the nastiness and venom that was evident from the "anti" brigade was absolutely unbelievable! It was obvious that they are organised, and lurk on social media, and are very obviously primed to respond as one if anyone dares to put their heads over the parapet and disagree with them. Some of the abuse frankly should have been challenged by the moderators. The best thing I was called was a "cruel bitch", it got worse, a lot worse.....

And then there was the local Devon & Cornwall Police official FB page, which was over-run by the "anti" brigade. Now I don't mind someone having an opinion, but for merely suggesting that limited police resources should perhaps be allocated to people who are in life-threatening situations and thus needing it MORE than the alleged "wildlife crimes" of a few hunts, I was again pilloried and jumped upon en-masse by these people. Someone picked up on my FB profile picture, which is me on my horse, making the assumption that "she's one of them, look she's on a horse in her FB profile". Nasty nasty spiteful little people. I'm sure there are a lot of other issues they could concern themselves with and actually DO some good i.e. ecology, palm oil, deforestation, not to mention women's rights in Arabic countries, and if they really WANT to go for animal cruelty, go on a jaunt to China and REALLY see what goes on out there......

When you look a little further, you find a certain unpalatability about the fact that the vast majority of them are in favour, and indeed subscribe to, masked protests and the like. I find that very disturbing indeed.
 

twiggy2

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This is the hunting forum. If I had meant to talk about shooting or fishing, I would have posted elsewhere. Anyway, what has eating the thing got to do with it? Plenty of shoots just bury the birds afterwards in a mass grave.
Well excuse me!
But are shooting and fishing not hunting?
For me eating it has quite a lot to do with it, I am a live and let live type of person, have chosen not to follow fox hounds but have in the past been out with the mink hounds.
I have all the game that I can get my hands on and if we don't eat it the dogs do.
 

Keith_Beef

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Just before Christmas, while standing in a queue outside an Italian restaurant in Borough Market, I (and the entire queue) was harangued by a sandal-clad vegan with a megaphone. Turning it to max, and standing about 10 feet away, he roundly scolded us in a vaguely offensive way for patronising that utterly blameless establishment.
Other than finding it slightly ridiculous to stand in a queue outside a restaurant, I think you could have handled this better.

"Cease and desist immediately! Your megaphone is too loud. You are subjecting my eardrums to noise levels which exceed acceptable levels. You are causing me physical pain. I shal count to three, and if you continue to cause me physical pain, I shall riposte, reasonably and proportionately."

You've already commented on his besandled feet... STOMP!

Then confiscate the megaphone and remove its batteries.
 
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Other than finding it slightly ridiculous to stand in a queue outside a restaurant, I think you could have handled this better.

"Cease and desist immediately! Your megaphone is too loud. You are subjecting my eardrums to noise levels which exceed acceptable levels. You are causing me physical pain. I shal count to three, and if you continue to cause me physical pain, I shall riposte, reasonably and proportionately."

You've already commented on his besandled feet... STOMP!

Then confiscate the megaphone and remove its batteries.
You may be right.

As to the restaurant, it's food is good; the prices are modest; and they don't take bookings. In London, the result is a queue.
 

honetpot

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I may be wrong but they stopped the Grove and Rufford Hunt traditional meet at Bawtry last year, but its was on this year.
The thing is we do not 'hunt' foxes anymore so why should interest vegans? We carry out all sorts of pest control, from poisoning rats and mice. Squires are blooming destructive, cute in the park but when they have stripped all your wiring and costing you thousands not so, so lets get pest control in. Oh and the wasps nest, nobody seems to think twice at killing them.
Its all a bit subjective , if its bothering you, kill it and if its fluffy and bothering someone else its wrong. Not a lot of people are vegans, and if we were starving we would eat anything.
I do not eat meat, but raise animals for meat , long story , which I will not bore you with. The only truly vegan restaurant I have ever eaten in the food was so poor I could not believe it, its just a con/lifestyle choice for some, cheap food sold at vastly inflated prices.
 

Tiddlypom

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There is no direct link between Brexit and hunting; I simply meant that over the last two years or so, the Brexit debate appears to have brought to light a growing streak of intolerance in the country at large that was not so apparent at one time. An inability to appreciate other people's points of view and way of life if it is different to one's own.
My local packs are currently being actively monitored/sabbed. I do follow the anti pages trying to keep up and to see if I recognise the locations.

There's not much light relief on either side, but one comedy moment came when a rider in a red coat, who was amongst a section of the field being berated by a local woman for upsetting her animals and allegedly illegally hunting, retorted 'I bet you're a Remainer!'

Is that now the ultimate insult?

ETA The antis are definitely winning the social media battle. There's undoubtedly a lot of misinformation and downright falsehoods on there, but many hunts do little or nothing to help themselves. That, combined with the loss of land and busier roads, will IMHO lead to the cessation of trail hunting with hounds within the next few years.
 
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ycbm

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Unfortunately, I think Joe Public's view of hunting, including drag hunting, is probably influenced by what they see of a hunt. I've either been right in the thick of, or associated with, the following on a regular basis:


Filling a pub at the meet with excited loud talking people wearing fancy dress who don't give the regulars a chance to get to the bar to place an order.
Parking lorries and trailers blocking small roads so other vehicles can't get through.
Parking heavy vehicles on pristine grass verges leaving dreadful ruts in them.
Holding up traffic for an unacceptable length of time by riding in a long pack or crossing over roads.
Hounds with disturbing scarring from hunt activity (kennel fights, barbed wire, etc)
People holding up traffic while cleaning down horses in the road before loading to go home.
Dirty, sometimes very dirty, excited loud talking people in the pub after the meet.
Pub car parks left full of horse shit.
Etc.


The thing is we do not 'hunt' foxes anymore so why should interest vegans?
.
Because some of you do. It's open knowledge that some hunts are deliberately laying very weak trails so that they have a legal excuse when their hounds 'accidentally' follow a fox trail. And in my area it is open knowledge in the hunting community that the midweek hunts in particular deliberately hunt fox. At a drag hunt once several years ago now, I was invited by someone who knows me very well to go out with a fox pack on a weekday. I asked her if they were going to hunt fox, and she looked at me a bit surprised and said 'yes of course'.

A while ago now the SNP scuppered David Cameron's plan to change the law so that more than two dogs could be used to flush to a gun. If that law had gone through, it would have made a conviction for illegal hunting nigh on impossible if anyone in the mounted or unmounted followers had been carrying a gun. The fight to continue hunting is still very strong more than a decade later.

Sabbing is continuing because there is a hard core of hunting still going on. When it stops, so will sabbing (but not dislike of other hunt behaviour) and the organised sabs will move on to shooting and possibly fishing.
 

Bernster

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I do wonder if stabbing will continue and they’ll target drag or bloodhounds instead? I get the feeling sabs don’t like any of it. But the focus now of course is on fox hunting.

Can hunting survive as just drag or bloodhounds?

Agree with the commentary about social media and how much more effective the negative media is. It would take a heck of marketing campaign to counteract that.

I’ve only been out a few times a year so that may explain it but I’ve never experienced any of the above behaviour from hunt folks fortunately. I did find the trail hunt pack less friendly, and much prefer drag hunting for many reasons (not least of which is the assurance of seeing no foxes, and no sabs!).
 

twiggy2

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Unfortunately, I think Joe Public's view of hunting, including drag hunting, is probably influenced by what they see of a hunt. I've either been right in the thick of, or associated with, the following on a regular basis:


Filling a pub at the meet with excited loud talking people wearing fancy dress who don't give the regulars a chance to get to the bar to place an order.
Parking lorries and trailers blocking small roads so other vehicles can't get through.
Parking heavy vehicles on pristine grass verges leaving dreadful ruts in them.
Holding up traffic for an unacceptable length of time by riding in a long pack or crossing over roads.
Hounds with disturbing scarring from hunt activity (kennel fights, barbed wire, etc)
People holding up traffic while cleaning down horses in the road before loading to go home.
Dirty, sometimes very dirty, excited loud talking people in the pub after the meet.
Pub car parks left full of horse shit.
Etc.




Because some of you do. It's open knowledge that some hunts are deliberately laying very weak trails so that they have a legal excuse when their hounds 'accidentally' follow a fox trail. And in my area it is open knowledge in the hunting community that the midweek hunts in particular deliberately hunt fox. At a drag hunt once several years ago now, I was invited by someone who knows me very well to go out with a fox pack on a weekday. I asked her if they were going to hunt fox, and she looked at me a bit surprised and said 'yes of course'.

A while ago now the SNP scuppered David Cameron's plan to change the law so that more than two dogs could be used to flush to a gun. If that law had gone through, it would have made a conviction for illegal hunting nigh on impossible if anyone in the mounted or unmounted followers had been carrying a gun. The fight to continue hunting is still very strong more than a decade later.

Sabbing is continuing because there is a hard core of hunting still going on. When it stops, so will sabbing (but not dislike of other hunt behaviour) and the organised sabs will move on to shooting and possibly fishing.
I have experienced all of the above also the local (at the time) hunt meeting at a diy livery yard on a non fixture dates (repeatedly) whilst all diy horses were out, they knew that no horses were left out on hunt days, they also would not turn up on fixture dates meaning all horses were kept in for them to hunt and they did not bother to tell us they were not hunting. Also the whipper in riding (with hounds) through horses tied up on the yard at a 'spanking trot', now I know a fair few members if that hunt and they agreed the hunt meets were 'unruley' but that's what they liked about it.
Non of this made me an anti but it does cloud your feelings towards the hunt.
 

Red-1

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I used to go out with bloodhounds when I was younger, loved it.

When fox hunting was banned I decided to go out with them, only to find that the foxes had apparently merely been christened Ginger Rabbits and nothing much had changed.

I don't have to agree with a law to believe it should be observed, that is what democracy is about. I have not gone out fox hunting since.

In our village last year the fox hunt came and ran over people's land, permission or not. At one time you would have notice of this and keep your animals in, but last year they were practising secrecy - in case of sabs -and they were where they should not have been, having a fine old time, whilst in the next field a pony got so distressed it ended up dead. Of course, they could not very well say why they were on that particular land, as if they had laid a trail they would not have been there. They did not just pass over either, but were there for a fine while.

They did apologise, and of course, maybe the pony would have died anyway in distress? It caused a lot of ill feeling as the pony was a much loved family pet.

Happily the man who invites them realised that this secrecy was not helping man or beast, and now we are told again so we can keep our animals in. We are very much live and let live so no, no sabs were informed. People just let them get on with it. But the hunt does not help itself, on my way home a big, excited horse was prancing in the middle of the road, a mounted person holding court with the car followers, who were pulling out indiscriminately against traffic law, excited presumably by the chase.

I am not anti hunt, anti rich people or otherwise, but heck, it is manners to tuck your prancing horse to one side so I can pass. No, he was just chatting. Got a snooty look for waiting until he tucked in a bit.

I think it will be the end when communities no longer want to invite the hunts. Not necessarily the sabs. Just normal people who want to go about their business, want to know when hunts are coming, want to be able to drive home and want courtesy.
 

TGM

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Well no - being as drag hunting and bloodhound packs have been targeted, I think these people want rid of all of it! Unless they just can't tell the difference.
In the cases where bloodhound or drag packs have been targeted it seems to have been by mistake, at least in our area. They did target the local drag pack a couple of years ago, but think that was just mistaken identity - hasn't happened since. I suspect someone saw a van of foxhounds arriving and thought it was the local foxhound pack instead. And our local bloodhound pack hasn't been targeted by sabs at all in all the time we have been involved with them, which is about ten years. The fact that the hounds are visibly not foxhounds does help in this respect!
 

Tiddlypom

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I don't have to agree with a law to believe it should be observed, that is what democracy is about. I have not gone out fox hunting since.
This is how I feel. I did used to hunt pre ban. I have been out with 7 different packs (5 foxhound, 2 harrier, 0 drag or bloodhound) on 5 different horses, all pre ban.

Since the ban into force, I would not expect any active fox hunting to be taking place, but it clearly still does. Only last season I heard first hand of a 'screamer' of a day in which full opportunity was taken of an anti free meet, with the fox taking the hunt well outside of the cleared area and p1ssing off many landowners and animal owners who were taken unawares.

The local Monitor group always corrects people who see a hunt and post on their FB page that they shouted abuse etc at them, if that hunt was the local Drag pack. They know that the Drag pack does not hunt foxes so put folk straight.
 

Rowreach

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I do agree that the law is the law and should be respected, but that applies to both sides. I have seen the arrogance and ill manners of hunting people on occasions (and conversely their good manners and camaraderie on others), but I have seen far worse behaviour from the antis, and have also witnessed the police totally disregarding flagrant law breaking from them.

When I was hunting regularly pre ban in the south of England, we used to love meets which were close to the county town, because they used to deploy the traffic police to come out, and they clearly enjoyed their day in the country and off-motorway, and took their policing duties very seriously.

I wonder why people are more tolerant of other things that delay them or cause annoyance in the countryside, than they are of the spectacle of the hunt. I rather enjoy tootling behind a tractor or waiting for a herd of cows or flock of sheep to come along the lane. I would be far less worried about a few tyre marks on a verge than I am about the yobs who fire their fast food wrappers out of their car windows up the lane from here, or park up in a field gateway and leave behind their lager cans and evidence of their amorous activities.

I posted on the thread the other day, that in an area (Northern Ireland) where hunting live prey is still legal, the antis still managed to go out and sab a drag hunt in the new year ...
 

Tiddlypom

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Tootling along behind a tractor and waiting for cattle or sheep on the road is part of country life. Being held up by the 'spectacle' of the hunt, with horses, hounds and car followers gormlessly and unnecessarily blocking the roads is something else. Too many hunts think that everything in the country must still stop for the hunt + extras like it did in the old days, and are oblivious to the disruption they cause.
 

Rowreach

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Tootling along behind a tractor and waiting for cattle or sheep on the road is part of country life. Being held up by the 'spectacle' of the hunt, with horses, hounds and car followers gormlessly and unnecessarily blocking the roads is something else. Too many hunts think that everything in the country must still stop for the hunt + extras like it did in the old days, and are oblivious to the disruption they cause.
Like I said, I have seen arrogant behaviour by people out hunting, and pretty appalling behaviour from other road users, and criminal behaviour by the sabs. It could be argued surely that the spectacle of the hunt is part of country life. It certainly used to be, and judging by the popularity of Boxing Day meets, many people still enjoy that spectacle.

There's intolerance all over these days. Seems a shame to me.
 

tallyho!

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In my view, the ongoing Brexit debate has served to expose an extreme form of joyless and puritanical intolerance that is fast becoming the norm in this country. It is a form of fascism, pure and simple - my way or the highway. You see someone doing something you don't understand, or having a bit of fun, and you put a stop to it.
That's a bit short-sighted of you... how do you know these people don't understand? Plenty of anti-hunt people used to hunt (and have seen the horrific end to a supposedly legal hunt). Plenty of vegans were meat eaters. In fact, many farmers lead the compassion argument in farming - it's thanks to them we have the highest livestock welfare in the world.

Since when has being intolerant to cruelty been joyless fascism? Brexit has nothing to do with it.

The hunt (shoots/fox/drag/fishing etc) will never save the countryside. They think they will, bless them, but people need housing. There's a lot of people sitting on acres and acres of green belt building sites just waiting for the developer to come knocking. Believe me.
 

Sandstone1

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The hunt often meets near me with no warning. If you have a horse or pony thats upset by it thats just tough because they dont have the manners and decency to warn you.
This is due to the secrecy and underhanded behaviour of the hunt and their attempts to carry on hunting foxes without the interference of the antis.
If they are hunting within the law why are they concerned that anyone will see them?
can they not have the common decency to warn people with animals that they will be around?
 
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