Is Fox Hunting Cruel?

Essay by WhatevaDudeJunior High, 8th gradeA, May 2006

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

"Effective and humane" say hunters.

The crux of the whole fox hunting debate, for many people, is the issue of cruelty.

Is being chased for several hours to be killed by a pack of dogs cruel?

No, say hunt supporters, citing the top dog of the pack's natural instinct to administer a "quick nip" to the back of the fox's head, which they allege kills it outright.

They also point to research by Dr David McDonald at Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit which suggests that the average duration of a hunt is 17 minutes.

The fox does not anticipate death, they say, so is not unduly traumatised by the pursuit.

And the alternatives - shooting, gassing, snaring or poisoning - would all inflict much more pain and suffering on the foxes. Already, 10 times as many foxes are shot each year than are hunted to death, they say. That figure would only increase if hunting was banned.

Yes it is cruel, and it's unnecessary, say animal welfare groups, campaigners and acitivists.

They point to the fact that the fox has no natural predators except man, and is therefore not accustomed to being chased.

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

And they do not accept the country sport lobby's stance that foxes are pests, and need to be destroyed somehow.

The Countryside Alliance - the group representing many areas of countryside interests, including hunting - says that in order to answer the question, one must first define cruelty.

Foxes need to be controlled say country sportsmen and women

They refer to The Scott Henderson inquiry under the 1949 Labour government.

The Henderson...