Fox Hunting in England Must Remain Banned

by Michael
(London, UK)

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Fox hunting is the chasing and, usually, killing of a red fox by fox hounds followed by people on horseback. The people are led by the master of foxhounds. Small though it is, the picture above shows the barbaric end of the life of a fox that was minding its own business until a group of country people turned up for a spot of fun.

Hunting foxes with dogs began in the 16th century in Norfolk, England as a means of controlling “pests”. England then exported this cruel activity to many other countries. Australians took to it but foxes imported solely for the purposes of being hunted reproduced and killed native species. This led to foxes being shot in vast numbers. The whole thing looks silly and cruel to me.

In England, over many years there was a groundswell of public opinion against this hideous pastime. Eventually the government of the time passed the Hunting Act 2004. The House of Commons passed the bill conclusively while the House of Lords, who are unelected, rejected it. A rarely used procedure involving the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 was employed to ensure the bill became an Act.

The Hunting Act 2004 (the Act) criminalises hunting with dogs. Deer are also hunted with dogs in England. It came into force on February 2005. It is said by pro-fox hunters that the Act has not worked and that there are as many hunts now as before the ban. The League Against Cruel Sports “found that, in the 2008-9 hunting season, 66% of hunts we monitored were acting in a manner consistent with traditional – illegal – hunting.” The police are failing to enforce the Act.

With the country having just gone through a messy election (at May 2010) there are conservative MPs who wish to repeal the Act and replace it with some sort of regulatory body. This is unacceptable to three quarters (75%) of the general public as a whole. While 84% of people want the Act to remain to stop deer hunting with dogs. Even 62% of conservative supporters are against fox hunting. And in rural England, 72% of the people want fox hunting to remain illegal1. The figures shout out the simple truth that the people of this country strongly object to fox hunting.

It is not difficult to see why. It is obviously barbaric. It is a horrible throwback to the past when we were meant to be less civilised. The people who participate in fox hunting and who support it say it controls foxes. This is the usual transparently false justification for this obviously cruel and unacceptable pastime.

If the Act is not being enforced properly and if it needs amending then lets enforce it and fine tune it - but not throw it out. Hunting foxes really has to remain banned and it has to stop. There is no justification for it except to please those who do it. To those of us who say that fox hunting in England must remain banned; how can we make our voice heard?

Well, here are some things that we can do:

  1. Register your support to keep the ban in place on the League Against Cruel Sports website: Keep cruelty history
  2. If you voted conservative, you can send a message to David Cameron on the Conservatives against fox hunting website.
  3. Write to your MP
  4. Visit the SAVE-ME website and look at the “lame claims” page to see the weak arguments of the pro-hunters
  5. You might like to visit the Save-me Facebook page and get involved.

I am sure the “troops” will have some more ideas – please see the comments.

Further reading:

What the public think on hunting with dogs.


1. Conservatives against fox hunting

Michael Avatar

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Fox Hunting in England Must Remain Banned

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Jul 02, 2010 URGENT for UK people
by: Ruth

PLEASE register and comment against a repeal of the hunting ban.
We MUST make our voices heard to keep this law.

Jun 09, 2010 Something isn't right
by: Babz

It all sounds a bit glib to me I must say, why would the patio door be left open when no-one was there to make sure intruders of the human kind didn't get in? After all in the centre of London there must surely be plenty of incidents of housebreakins, and this would have been a stroll in! What if it had been a kidnapper (it happened to Madeleine!)or a mass murderer for that matter, the parents were blissfully watching Britain's Got Talent and the fox CUB (fact) strolled in, up the stairs and allegedly attacked two babies in two cots before the parents were alerted. They then described the fox as having all sorts of mean human characteristics whereas in relity it would be more frightened of them than they were of it, especially as they claim they were both hysterical. But by next day Mum was alerting the press and the countryside movement, popping on her designer sunglasses and dressing up for photographs. I am sorry for the babies, I really am, but I'm bothered by all this, I'd like to know where their other child was at the time and where the family dog was at the time. Last time a claim like this was made, in 2003, it was in fact the family dog that had attacked the baby and the family, quite understandably, didn't want the dog to be taken away from them so used the fox story as a cover.

Jun 09, 2010 Hmmm
by: Rose

If it's true and if all foxes have to suffer because of that one attack,then everyone with a gun should suffer because one man used his to kill 12 people last week.

Jun 08, 2010 Convenient about fox attacking babies
by: Ruth

What does everyone think about the fox allegedly attacking twin babies in a London house ?
It's supposed to have gone up 3 flights of stairs and into 2 seperate cots and injured 2 babies by the time the parents heard the screams.
Surely responsible parents would go to their baby at the first scream ? The family dog hadn't even barked. Yet by the parents reached the babies bedroom the fox had savaged both babies and was standing defiantly looking at the parents.
It doesn't ring true. Strange that the Countryside Alliance notified the BBC and that the mother is somehow connected with Cameron's wife. The Cameron who is desperate to repeal the ban on hunting foxes !
Surely with today's technology it should be possible to find out just what (or who) attacked those babies.
Cameron said there should be no knee jerk reaction about the gun law after the shootings in Cumbria,yet this is a knee jerk reaction against all foxes because suddenly less people are on their side.Just when everyone is needed to lobby their MPs to vote against a repeal on the ban.
Something is very suspicious and we MUST find out the truth.

May 26, 2010 My reply from the LibDems
by: Ruth

Dear Ruth,
Thank you for your email.
We are against reintroducing fox hunting but for MPs of all parties it
is a free vote. If there was an Liberal Democrat government we would
not have introduced a vote but the Conservatives are the largest party
and wanted a vote and the nature of coalitions is compromise. There
will be a vote but this is no guarantee that the vote will be won. If
you want to affect the vote,lobby your local MP directly.
The Liberal Democrats' official policy as a party is to support the ban
on hunting. This has always been a free vote issue for our MPs, as for
those of both Labour and the Conservatives, with all parliamentarians
free to vote according to their conscience. However, as you will know,
the Hunting Act was passed in 2004 and Liberal Democrats have no plans
to revisit this. Nick personally supports the status quo in this area.
More broadly, Liberal Democrats are deeply committed to animal welfare
and have been in the forefront of pushing for tougher legislation in a
whole series of issues ranging from tighter controls on farming
practices through to a ban on animal testing for cosmetics. We will
continue to lobby for progress in this area.
Best wishes,
Dan Murch
National Liberal Democrats

May 13, 2010 To Ruth
by: Carol

Done but got an out of office reply.I will post what they say when they do reply properley.

May 13, 2010 What you can do first
by: Ruth

Please everyone email the LibDems on the contact form above and remind them of Mr Clegg's promise on video that he would not vote to repeal the hunting law.
Thank you.

May 12, 2010 Be prepared
by: Ruth

The feeling is that Mr Cameron is hoping to rush a repeal of the ban through before the next hunting season starts.
There are also some saying he will be right now trying to get all the newly elected MPs on his talks.....
But we don't really know what is happening,only that we decent folk who know how cruel it is to hunt wild animals, need to be prepared to fight to keep it banned.
Any of us with any news or word from anti hunt organistations must keep each other updated as to what we need to do.
Hoping and praying Nick Clegg as deputy PM has some say and keeps his word that he doesn't want the ban repealed.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

May 10, 2010 On a basic level
by: Tracey

Some of the 'country folk' say that us townies don't know what we are talking about and have no understanding of 'country ways' well excuse me squire but to me and many other thick townies its quite fundamental that a pack of dogs tearing a terrified fox limb from limb is barbaric and wrong on any level.

Imagine if that poor fox is a nursing vixen? Not only is she murdered but so are her cubs that have been left to starve to death.

What gets my goat to be honest is that if it's repealed its can be done so that it can never be banned again. How can this happen? How does any politician have the right to take such a huge step and go against public feeling?

I only hope like everyone else that Nick Clegg sets it in stone that its a provision of any deal that is struck that it isn't repealed.

May 10, 2010 my opinion
by: kathy

I dont live in your country but I do know all of you know that I am totally against hunting of any kind. This hunting with dogs is es pecially sickening. We used to have a hunt club around here where they would hunt with a large pack of dogs and we would see them every now and then on our way to trap shooting on Sundays. It has now been phased out with all the rapid growth in this area north of Chicago. I hope it gets outlawed as it takes sick people for one thing to teach their dogs to hunt in this manner.

May 10, 2010 All is not lost
by: Carol

Thanks Micheal,that has cheered me up a bit.
If the worst happens and Cameron entices Nick Clegg to his side it seems he won't back a vote on repealing that law.
I still hold out hope he will join Labour and they will strengthen the law.
If Cameron could make it that if it's repealed it can't be passed again,maybe Gordon Brown could make it so it can't ever be repealed?
I don't coco much about politics,it makes my brsin hurt lol

May 09, 2010 Fox hunting must remain banned
by: Michele S.

I truly hope that David Cameron doesn't succeed in his aim to bring back fox-huting. As a country with a world wide reputation as animal lovers, it is shameful that the prolonged torture and killing of a living creature is viewed by some as acceptable. I'd prefer Mr. Cameron concentrate on ridding society of the real "vermin" that blights our country - the humans who go around mugging, burgling and killing others.

If he and his cronies do get their way, I only hope that local councils still have the powers to ban hunting in their areas. I remember that hunt saboteurs used to encourage foxes over the county borderline from Hertfordshire into Bedfordshire because the council had banned hunting on their grounds.

"The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible" is how Oscar Wilde described fox hunting and he had a point.

May 09, 2010 Update
by: Michael

Ruth kindly pointed me in the direction of this video in which Nick Clegg says he is against a repeal of the Hunting Act 2004. As Cameron needs Clegg to form a coalition of some sort Clegg's views may well help to put the brakes on a repeal of this Act. Here is the video:

Michael Avatar

May 09, 2010 Tightened not repealed
by: Billy B

How anybody can enjoy pursuing a terrified animal and watch it caught and torn to shreds by drooling hounds I do not know.
Only those with sick minds can want this outdated so called sport to return.
The law should be tightened up,not repealed.
That is what the decent folk of Britain want.

May 09, 2010 Progress
by: Joanna

Thanks for writing this well thought out and very interesting blog.
How much I agree with you Petra.Voting for those minority parties was throwing the vote away,they had no chance.
Gordon Brown didn't create the mess this country is in,he inherited it and one thing for sure,if Cameron gets his way there will be an even greater mess very soon.
Have some people forgotten the Milk Snatcher years?
But that aside,if the ban hunting law is repealed our country may as well step back into the dark ages of cock fighting and bear baiting.Go even further back and send children up chimneys and down coal mines.
This country has progressed with time so lets keep it that way.Repealing the ban hunting law would be far far from progress.
I'll be doing all I can to stop this farce and so will other people I know.

May 09, 2010
by: Petra

As an umpteenth generation Labour supporter I want to say to those people who voted Lib/Dem, Green, UKIP or any other minority party or in fact did not vote: Are you satisfied with yourselves? Is this the outcome that you wanted? Was your silly protest vote/spoiled paper/abstention from voting worth hearing the screams of hunted animals echoing again through the countryside? Gordon Brown may not have been the best ever PM, but he is only one man in the party that brought in the hunting ban, as you are reading this blog you must be animal lovers so could you not have kept the faith and voted for the animals' lives?

May 09, 2010 It must remain banned
by: Rose

Cameron's party got most votes at the election last Thursday but the other two thirds of the voters made it plain they do not want him ruling our country.
Surely an unelected unwanted by many Prime Minister(if he does get LibDems on his side)can not repeal a law just because it doesn't suit him or his bloodthirsty cronies!
It would open up a can of worms.Some people don't like the no smoking law,some don't like the law banning using a mobile while driving,well tough, laws are laws and are not made to be repealed if some people don't like them.
We will fight this law to remain,to the end.

May 09, 2010 Hunting ban must stay
by: JK

There is no case to repeal the hunting ban.

Hunting with hounds is a barbaric form of animal abuse and should be consigned to the history books along with cock fighting and bear baiting.

In our so-called civilised society there can be no justification for reinstating such a cruel and violent activity.

May 09, 2010 The hunting act must be upheld
by: mhayworth

In a Lib/Con coalition, lets see if Nick Clegg is true to his word and will let the people decide on the hunting act. The Tories have been bought out by the Countryside Alliance and their friends at Vote OK so Cameron must seek repeal and Clegg must ensure the Tories are unsuccessful.

Hunting with hounds is not the least cruel method of pest control as the hunters like to claim. In fact, it is one of the cruelest methods because is prolongs the suffering of the animal in favour of an extended ride for the vile people who participate. The practices carried out on young fox cubs during the training of the hounds are even more horrific. Of course if the hunters would stop building artificial earths across the countryside (to breed foxes for their quarry), there would be little need for any type of pest control. This is cruel and anti-social behaviour in its worst form. If Cameron manages to overturn the act, we will organise a massive boycott of goods and services coming from any farm or company involved in or in support of the hunts. Please join us at:

May 09, 2010 barbarism should never be celebrated.
by: HC

I don't think our government should ever, ever condone the violent killing of our wildlife and I would never want someone who is blase about hunting to be in charge. The contemptuous attitudes of the Countryside Alliance allow the country to be patronised and not see how it truly is: the death of hounds on roads, the mauling of pets, the brutal treatment of monitors and saboteurs at the hands of the hunters and I haven't yet mentioned the violent and bloodthirsty ripping apart of foxes, stags and hares. These are not picture-perfect countryside activities and traditions have to be changed, they are just not representative of the countryside as a whole. When I was growing up, I can count the many occasions when hunters tried to get into our garden and on one occasion my brave mother stood up to them and they simply called her names in front of my baby brother. They have absolutely no respect for the people living in villages and treat us all like feudal overlords. The countryside does not belong to them, it belongs to the country which is democratic. I am positive that the majority of 75% would be furious if there are any attempts to bring it back.

May 09, 2010 Barbarism must remain banned
by: Geoffrey Woollard

I stood as an independent against Mr James Paice, the Conservatives' 'shadow minister of agriculture.' In my brief comments after the result was announced, I congratulated Mr Paice on his re-election with a 'thumping' majority. I also alluded to my tour of the South East Cambridgeshire constituency on polling day when I visited in turn more than fifty polling stations and thanked the officers at each one for doing their bit for British democracy. I also said that I had witnessed yet again the beauty of the County of Cambridgeshire. I then said that I had driven through 'fox' country and hare 'territory.' I said that foxes and hares were protected by the Hunting Act 2004. I concluding by pleading with the re-elected Mr Paice to alter his stated intention to vote to repeal the Hunting Act 2004, '
for the sake of the animals.'

May 09, 2010 Hunting must be outlawed
by: Babz

I still can hardly believe that after all those years of work by many anti-hunting associations and individuals that the man who has vowed to repeal the act is now almost in a position to do so. It is an unbearable thought that within weeks they will be out there with packs of hounds again, legally killing foxes, stags & hares (and small domestic animals that are unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Trespassing on private land, in gardens, in nature reserves, in school playgrounds, crossing motorways, roads & railway tracks causing accidents (and incidentally the death of some of the hounds. Hounds that will be dispatched without a second thought if, as pups, they do not show an inclination to kill and will be dispatched without a second thought when they become old or too badly injured to make their treatment worthwhile for the hunt.)
If the act is repealed hunts can, and will, pursue foxes anywhere and everywhere, even right into your back street where the hounds will kill the fox, even before your children's eyes, and there will be not one thing you can do to stop them!

The damage has been done already by people making useless protest votes against the two main parties and so splitting the vote and allowing this evil man to have some say in the next government, we must now be ready to try and minimise the damage in any way we can. Surely those eighty years of work are not going to be wasted, surely our countryside is not going to be red with the blood of tortured animals, surely we are not going to allow David Cameron and his Countryside Alliance henchmen to KILL OUR WILDLIFE AGAINST OUR WISHES! We have to fight this!

Barbara avatar

May 09, 2010 Fox hunting must remain banned!
by: TP2010

For anyone who cares for our wildlife, the idea that this barbaric pastime could once again become legal is beyond belief. Shame on the Conservative party for suggesting it! The mistreatment, savaging and killing animals for the entertainment of a minority group has no place in a civilised society.

May 09, 2010 Upsetting
by: Sue

If Nick Clegg who is anti hunt joins David Cameron in power might that stop him from trying to repeal the hunting ban?
I'm even more upset now that I know if it's repealed it can't be passed again.
Yes we have to do all we can to stop this return the cruelty of hunting wild animals.
Thank you Micheal for writing about this.

May 09, 2010 I agree
by: Fran

Hunting must NEVER come back.
I'll do all I can to help ensure it doesn't and I hope everyone else will too.

May 09, 2010 Yes fox hunting must remain banned
by: Ruth

That is a brilliant article Michael.Yes fox hunting must remain banned and those of us who care about all wild animals need to make sure it does as this includes stag hunting and hare coursing.It took 80 years to get a law made banning hunting with dogs and not only would all that caring and hard work by many people be wasted if the law is repealed, but David Cameron also intends to make legislation to ensure the law to ban hunting can never be made again.I don't know how to put it or what it all means in legal terms, but I do know I and others who care about this will be doing all we can to stop the law being repealed.
Please everyone who cares sign up to the links Michael has given for updates on what we can do.
If David Cameron does become Prime Minister and has enough power to order a free vote by all MPs, we will need to write to all the newly elected MPs in the constituencies which have changed.We must tell them how cruel hunting with dogs is and that many of us are against it and ask them to vote that the law stays.
Please watch this PoC page for updates.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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