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roansisop

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Hunting is a way of living and anyone who thinks different is mental because if no one ever hunted then the animals would over populate the area and they would eat all the food then they would all die of starvation so hunting isnt only a way of life but wildlife itself benifits from it

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I agree with you the way you view the issue. I remember Jack London once said everything positive has a negative side; everything negative has positive side. It is also interesting to see different viewpoints & learn useful things in the discussion.

Dan Larkins

For one to hunt, one must have a missing link. Males do not need to hunt because of natural history of testosterone. Hunting should not be a sport. Killing in all senses, revenge, punishment, sport, should be illegal. Killing is immoral and unethical. Why murder a defenseless being? A being with a family and feelings.

Pro Hunter

This smells like hunting, this looks like hunting...WAHEY THIS IS HUNTING! Whats changed?! Tony Blair and his sadistic anti followers can't stop large numbers of people doing what they have done even before there was such a thing as a inbred, dirty and vile anti or hunt sab! Tally Ho Blair & bum up antis!

Cynic

I am neither pro- nor anti- hunting but I agree this is bad law. It is a law based on emotion rather than reason, much like the rationale for invading Iraq.

Some points to consider: if it was designed to help foxes it is unlikely to succeed as evidence in Scotland (which banned it 2 years ago) shows fox deaths by legal hunting double what they were prior to legislation.

It is largely unenforceable (no prosecutions in Scotland so far) which makes it a ridiculous law which is why cannabis smoking has to all intents and purposes been de-criminalised.

Nobody denies that most find it distasteful when the manner of death is to be chased and torn apart but the fox had approx 10% chance of ever encountering a hunt in its life. The manner of death (and life for that matter) for the chicken that many of you eat for dinner is equally distasteful. The murder rate is incidentally 100%.

700 hours of parliamentary time devoted to this unenforceable law designed to kill more not less foxes is absolutely obscene. (Iraq debate prior to war was single digit hours - deathtoll approx. 100,000 innocent people, by some accounts. That's three years worth of foxes hunted to death - if you feel inclined to equate fox and human deaths). China which represents the single biggest threat to the UK economy has had two questions in parliament in the life of this government since 1997. One was about the importation of products using cat fur and total parliamentary time was half an hour.

Want to save fox lives? Make them a protected species it could be done with regulation (i.e doesn't need an act of parliament)

Whilst the level of public debate on important issues remains slightly above moronic we will continue to have new laws made that make more people criminals. Ergo crime statistics continue to grow and we need more police. Logical conclusion is society eventually is made up of only police and criminals. Orwellian or what?

To all of you who get hot under the collar about foxes, pro- or anti- for goodness sake get a life!

Shaun McGill

"Our political masters should have more important things on their minds than to introduce legislation that will be impossible to enforce and was motivated by class hatred."

That's not a good point really- just because something else could be seen as more important does not mean that other things should be ignored. It's not class hatred, it's not liking animals being killed that way.

"I'm not sure that many (most?) hunters and hunt supporters would specifically claim to be 'the elite' (although what is wrong with elitism, better than this dumbed-down quagmire that the UK seems to be rolling in at the moment - although that's another rant). Most (many?) hunter and hunt supporters are 'normal' people who happen to live in the countryside."

Very good point and one I had not thought about.

"What we have is a (generally) wealthy group who understand and protect the land being punished. I'm not a supporter of hunting but i see them as a bit of an 'enemy of your enemy is your friend'."

Another great point- nice to see this post generating good discussion.

more_to_be_done

I'm a great lover of wildlife and the British countryside but am unconvinced about the ban. Although I support a ban against cruelty to animals in principle, this ban seems hypocritical and targeted at the higher classes.

If the government was truely concerned about wildlife and our countryside we would see far more protection of habitate and species. Instead our native species are losing their habitate, land is being lost to new housing developments and not enough is being done to create and protect national parks.

Then there's the matter of cruelty to farmed animals, over production and not enough support given to farmers who produce organically.

What we have is a (generally) wealthy group who understand and protect the land being punished. I'm not a supporter of hunting but i see them as a bit of an 'enemy of your enemy is your friend'.

Peter McKean

Extraordinary comments, above.

Fox hunting is wrong. It's really simple. Wrong.

Who in their right mind will claim that terrorising a desperate animal over miles of countryside woodland until cornering it and ripping it to shreds does not constitute abnormal cruelty?

Only the most blinkered individuals. Although there is no conclusive research to prove beyond absolute doubt that foxes feel fear (unlike with stags), the fact that they piss themsleves and run like hell is a pretty good indication that they're not entirely chilled out by the process.

And, of course, fox hunting happens for no good reason - it does not control the fox population! There is plenty of evidence that foxes are self-regulating; during the Foot and Mouth outbreak, hunting was banned. The fox population didn't grow. What's more, almost 9 out of 10 foxes which are killed are run over by cars. By mistake.

So that leaves us with pleasure. This activity takes place purely for the gratification of participants, not for some inherently useful purpose. It may be that we have to have a legitimate debate over animal testing in medical research, because the end-result may justify the means - but hunting has NO such moral justification.

Is it right for us to cause suffering to animals for our own sordid pleasures? Scenario time; you're in the park one morning, walking your dog. I run up and kick your pet hard in the stomach. It screeches and collapses in pain. You'll be upset, I guess, but why? Is it because I dared to touch your property, or because you feel sympathy for the distress which the poor animal feels?

If you answered the latter, then you must agree with me that hunting is an anachronim which we should have legislated out of existence decades ago. If you thought the former, then you've told me all I need to know about you.

This bill wouldn't have taken so much parliamentry time were it not for the stalling tactics of the House of Lords and the Countryside Alliance. So, will it criminalise otherwise law-abiding citizens if they hunt? Yes. That's the bloody point. I don't care if they become criminals. They're already morons.

A bad law

1. Our political masters should have more important things on their minds than to introduce legislation that will be impossible to enforce and was motivated by class hatred (and some of them have even admitted that).

2. This law will be impossible to enforce and will make criminals out of people who would normally be considered 'law abiding'. Do we really want our police forces to spend time and money buy quadbikes and chasing riders around the countryside?

3. I'm not sure that many (most?) hunters and hunt supporters would specifically claim to be 'the elite' (although what is wrong with elitism, better than this dumbed-down quagmire that the UK seems to be rolling in at the moment - although that's another rant). Most (many?) hunter and hunt supporters are 'normal' people who happen to live in the countryside.

4. There has been many demonstrations by the 'hunting set' over the past few months and many of these have been violent affairs. Really? As poster 'an unfair ban' says, tempers seem to have mainly flared once police (or anti-hunt supporters) have stirred things up. Of course there are always those who will turn to violence to get their point of view across, but I suspect that those hunt sabs have been significantly more provocative and violent (including intimidation) to hunters than the other way around.

This is a bad, unenforceable, unfair, law and should never have been passed. Shaun, you yourself have complained about the health service, poverty, the war in Iraq and global warming over the last few months - do you honestly think that our politicians should be wasting time on such irrelevant things?

An unfair ban

Once again we see the "triumph" of political busybodies to the detriment of people genuinely affected by the legislation. I do not live in the country, and thus do not feel that I have sufficient right to be able to dictate how others should live their lives. I am sad that country-born and bred Lembit Opik feels otherwise, whose biggest interation with a fox is probably little more than having a nuisance animal scrounging in his bin. Fox hunting is a blood sport, and so is to be banned for being "cruel"- however, the legislation had to be forced through Parliament using the Parliament Act because a fair vote did not produce the desired result for the Government, motivated by the desire for public affection.
As for violence, I draw your attention to the footage (now shown in an edited format, lest it be deemed prejudicial) of police attacking peaceful pro-hunting supporters outside the Houses of Parliament. Police, with powers to protect the public, beating trapped protesters with weapons- this is a true blood sport. The vast majority of pro-hunt supporters are peaceful and non-violent- however, with any passionate organisation, there is a militant element- just as there is with the anti-hunt supporters.
Two Chief Executives, a Chairman, a Chief Officer and an undercover investigator, all from the League Against Cruel Sports have left the League opposing a ban.
"How the fox is located is totally irrelevant to animal welfare considerations. It took me ten years to realise this irrefutable fact – others will never realise it because bigotry, prejudice, narrow mindedness, class animosity and ignorance, blind people to the truth.”
If a minority of hunts are behaving in a cruel manner, by failing to shoot the fox after it has been caught, then I can agree with their prosecution. Just as anyone found to be battery-farming chickens, fishing with barbed hooks or poisoning slugs for the sake of prettier flowers.
There is a positive side, though- I look forward to the footage on "You've Been Framed" of police, already saying that they do not have the resources to enforce this law, trying to fit not only one huntsman, but also 100 dogs and a horse in the back of a police car...

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