Foxhunting – sport or cruelty?

New figures demonstrate that, despite the Hunting Act now having been in force since 2005, fox hunting convictions are rising yearly, with 57 people found guilty in 2009, compared to just 5 in 2006. Although animal welfare groups welcome notice of more convictions, it is clear that a rising number of hunts continue to ride out in search of foxes, despite the practise now being illegal and the official stance of a hunt usually being that they are hunting an artificial scent.

Red fox (vulpes vulpes)

The Countryside Alliance is asking for a repeal of the hunting ban, the Telegraph reported last week, before adding that the ban is unlikely to be a priority of David Cameron’s in the current economic climate, despite his earlier pledges to overturn the law once in power.

Head of the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance Alice Barnard said “There is a growing feeling that this legislation isn’t working and the right thing, the brave thing to do is to reassess that and push for repeal,”

The League Against Cruel Sports website states that “despite the consigning of their ‘sport’ to the history books, the hunters are now stepping up their efforts to have the Hunting Act repealed. Moreover, some politicians want to repeal the hunting ban despite 75% of the public being in favour of keeping it,”

With the fox-hunting ban looking like it may become a law with no bite, what’s your opinion on this long-standing and sensitive countryside issue?

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