Welfare reasons for repeal of the Hunting Act
Hunting with hounds is the natural and most humane way of controlling the fox and the population of the three other quarry species for the following reasons:
- Man has a responsibility to manage the countryside he has created and the wildlife populations therein.
- Hunting with hounds is entirely natural to the fox and the other quarry species since it does not use any alien technology for which the hunted animal has no natural defence.
- Hunting uniquely reproduces the natural selection process and provides a vital search and dispatch function, whereby weak and sick animals are culled in direct relation to their debility, thereby promoting the health and vigour of the species.
- Hunting leaves no wounded survivors. The kill when it occurs is almost instantaneous and above all certain. Quarry that evade hounds rapidly return to normal activity.
- Death in the wild, in the absence of natural predators and without hunting, involves pain, sepsis, gangrene, starvation, hypothermia for days or even weeks before death supervenes.
- Wild animals are by evolution used to hunting and being hunted. Hunting using scenting hounds is similar to the way in which wolves hunt their quarry.
- Fear, better described as “alertness” in wild animals is essential for their survival. There is now a strong body of scientific knowledge to show that wild animals cannot perceive the human concepts of either fear or death.
The above bullet points have been taken from the leaflet A Veterinary Opinion on Hunting with Hounds (2004)and Hunting, Wildlife Management and the Moral Issue (2009) both published by The Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management.