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Fox hunting

 
Helen Thomas
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A few days ago Parliament was invaded by a group of fox hunters dressed up as workmen. An affront as serious in principle as any tried by the infamous Guy Fawkes, Charles I or Herman Goering pilots or the bunch of lesbian liberettists who abseiled into the House of Lords or the anti-globalisation protesters who gave a statue of Winston Churchill a grass mohican.

It was a confrontation of urban mass uberclass vs. country dwellers whose farms, schools, post offices, police are heavily subsidised by the townies.

Even the foxes have given up on the countryside and invade towns in ever larger numbers.
Pro fox hunting have no really good arguments. THe blood sports of working classes cock-fighting and bear-baiting have been banned for decades.
[ September 29, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
 
Joe King
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I wonder if some of the foxes had some sympathy for the protesters when the police were a little..er.. over zealous with the use of the truncheon. At least now both the hunters and the foxes understand what its like to be clubbed by someone stronger than them.

On a more serious note, I don't really think the pro-hunt arguments are that valid. I agree that foxes are a pest, and numbers do need to be kept down, but this should be done by a local council run pest controller (similar to how the council deal with rats). Killing an animal should never be done for sport (and this includes some sport fishing for me as well).

I've got no objection to people running up and down the country side acting like fools, but killing an animal for fun while they are at it is a bit sick.
 
Richard Hawkes
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Maybe we should ask the foxes their prefered method of execution? This is a democracy after all.
 
Helen Thomas
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Joe King : On a more serious note, I don't really think the pro-hunt arguments are that valid.

Townies can be a bit hypocritical. They love being in the countryside but
don't understand how it works or hangs together. It takes generations to build that up.
 
Jeroen Wenting
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they're not killing the foxes for sport at all.
What you forget is that their horses and dogs get a very good workout on hunting days which is good for their health.
Therefore the foxes are killed in the name of animal welfare!
 
Edwin Keeton
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I don't lay claim to being much of a huntsman. I've only ridden a handful of times. My experience has been that the fox is rarely even found, let alone killed. My uncle is a Hunt Master and concurs, reluctantly.

Over here (U.S.A.) fox hunting is almost purely a social occasion.
 
Helen Thomas
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Here in Britain they cannot claim at the same time both
that it is the most sure way of controlling the fox population [ul] and [/ul]that foxes are rarely caught and killed after being chased for several hours by a pack of hounds and a group of huntsmen and women on horseback.

The alternatives - shooting, gassing, snaring or poisoning - would all inflict much more pain and suffering on the foxes, according to hunt supporters.

Other arguments for, include the defence of countryside traditions and the number of people employed either directly or indirectly in the fox hunts.

Arguments against:

The fox has no natural predators except man, and is therefore not accustomed to being chased.

If, and only if, there is a specific problem with a fox in one area, then shooting by a marksman is the only humane way to deal with the problem.

Foxes are not pests that need to be destroyed somehow. They do kill rabbits hares, small birds and little lambies some times.

What people object to is the pleasure obtained from the chase and the kill.
That seems unduly cruel and unnecessary.
[ September 30, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
 
Jeroen Wenting
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fox can become pests. I lived in the countryside all my youth and some years there were so many foxes they almost wiped out all other wildlife.

Foxes are supposed to be solitary animals, yet I've seen them hunt in packs (and I don't mean a mother showing her cubs the ropes, these were groups of fully grown animals working together to bring down game)!

Of course such situations won't happen over time if nature is left to control itself, but in Europe that hasn't happened in centuries.

If foxes are not used to being chased that's only because all larger predators (which DO eat them or at least kill them when they can because they're competition) like wolves and bears have been exterminated for so long by humans.

In the Yellowstone area (where I visited earlier this month) wolves and bears will kill coyote and fox (and coyote will kill wolf cubs given the chance).
 
Helen Thomas
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The Koala birth control pill that's going to be used in Australia might work on foxes just as well, perhaps ? Apparently there are too many Koalas chomping their way through eucalyptus forests.
[ October 02, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
 
Nick George
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Too many koalas?! Impossible!
 
Warren Dew
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Helen Thomas:

The alternatives - shooting, gassing, snaring or poisoning - would all inflict much more pain and suffering on the foxes, according to hunt supporters.

So what do the hunters do, if they don't shoot? Do they use spears on foxes as well as boar?
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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The thing you have to realize is -- them's good eatin'!
 
Warren Dew
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Foxes? Or koalas?
 
Helen Thomas
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Boars.
 
KR Campbell
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The last time I was in Switzerland I went to Bern. They had a bear in a pit there and it was the saddest, boredest creature I have ever seen in my life. If the Swiss decided to take up bear baiting it might be a little less bored. Maybe they could use foxes instead of dogs. This would solve any pest problem they might have with foxes. We could do the same in the UK. Then the fox hunters could catch the foxes to use in the bear baiting instead of killing them. The bears would get the blame for that.
 
Helen Thomas
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Scientific studies undertaken to understand fox populations prove that foxes do indeed practice their own birth control based on hierarchy, territory, population size and many other factors. Adults probably eat the pups.

Go easy on the slug pellets.Hedgehogs die a long and protracted death after eating them.
 
Richard Hawkes
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Birth control for Koala bears?! Surely it would be better to hunt them with dogs. At least it'd be some fun.
 
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Birth control for Koala bears?! Surely it would be better to hunt them with dogs. At least it'd be some fun.


Dogs can't climb trees well.
Cats found this out a long time ago and now run to the nearest tree when they hear a dog bark
 
Frank Silbermann
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To the extent that traditional foxhunting does manage the fox population, I think that's the best way to do it -- because it's the most natural. Being torn apart by dogs is closest to the way foxes normally die in an environment untouched by man. It's organic.
 
Frank Silbermann
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Originally posted by Helen Thomas:

It was a confrontation of urban mass uberclass vs. country dwellers whose farms, schools, post offices, police are heavily subsidised by the townies.


You may have a point wrt subsidization of the farms, schools and post offices.

But as far as policing goes, the country-dwellers were doing just fine without subsidzation a hundred years ago; any need for police subsidization is solely due to problems caused by law and policy changes pushed by the urban mass uberclass since then.
 
Helen Thomas
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I just read a comment in the paper that foxes might prefer to be torn apart by dogs because that is the natural and organic way. That's what the fox expects when it's being chased by dogs.Aussies put foxes on birth control pill trials
 
Frank Silbermann
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Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
I just read a comment in the paper that foxes might prefer to be torn apart by dogs because that is the natural and organic way. That's what the fox expects when it's being chased by dogs.Aussies put foxes on birth control pill trials


Does birth control reduce their pleasure (e.g. by preventing the females from going into heat)? (I know that many human men choose to risk death if doing so improves their chances of getting laid.)
 
peter wooster
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Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:
To the extent that traditional foxhunting does manage the fox population, I think that's the best way to do it -- because it's the most natural. Being torn apart by dogs is closest to the way foxes normally die in an environment untouched by man. It's organic.


Where I live the problem is actually too few foxes, the rabbit population is so high that dogs are tearing them apart at leash free parks, places rabbits used to avoid, but now need to frequent as their numbers increased.

Three years ago there were plenty of foxes and few rabbits, but something (some say a contagious mange) killed off most of the foxes.
 
Helen Thomas
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Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:


Does birth control reduce their pleasure (e.g. by preventing the females from going into heat)? (I know that many human men choose to risk death if doing so improves their chances of getting laid.)


You think it's just the male foxes that take on the dogs with a low percentage of survival in the hope of creating lots of cubs ?
Goodness me, there's quite a lot at stake in this fox hunting question.
Disneys "Fox and Hound" were queer toonies and Yogi Bear and Booboo's relationship was a bit difficult to define.

I should think human men risked death mostly to survive. Part of the strategy of survival is to show strength in being able to protect large numbers hence grouping and re-grouping to get the strongest sets.
 
Helen Thomas
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peter wooster : the rabbit population is so high that dogs are tearing them apart at leash free parks,

Hmmm! I'd rather fox hunting was left alone than see dogs maniacally killing rabbits in parks.
 
Joe King
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Originally posted by Helen Thomas:
peter wooster : the rabbit population is so high that dogs are tearing them apart at leash free parks,

Hmmm! I'd rather fox hunting was left alone than see dogs maniacally killing rabbits in parks.


Yes, it certainly would be quite hare raising.
 
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