The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible. I have no objection to people donning fancy dress, mounting horses, and charging around over the countryside. What I don't like, is if they're hunting foxes, or other animals.
I read in the Telegraph today, an article by Simon Heffer, "It's crueller to shoot a fox than to hunt one", and if that's the main argument, then he just hasn't thought about it. Because the fox isn't just killed by a pack of hounds. It's pursued across the countryside for miles - that's the whole point of the hunt - for as long as it takes for it to either lose the hounds, or be caught and killed. The fox is well aware of what's at stake - it's life. The fox must be absolutely terrified the whole time, I know I would be in that position. And we *know* that animals feel fear. I've seen horses that are so scared by the mere sight of my bicycle, that they have to be carefully persuaded by their rider to move forward. And I'm repeatedly told by owners that dogs that I encounter are afraid of my hat. So yes, it's cruel, very cruel.
We've banned dog fighting. We've banned fights between dogs and bulls, between dogs and bears, between cocks. We've banned them because we know, better than they did a few hundred years ago, that this practice is barbaric; unspeakably cruel.
Look. If you want a sport, then look at drag hunting.
One person lays a scent trail using aniseed and other dog-friendly scents. Then the hounds are released, and away goes the pack, followed by the hunters.
So you'll still have a sport, you'll still have your traditional dress-up and social occasion, and you'll still have your employment of country folk. These are three arguments I've seen used to support fox hunting. By the way, what happened to all the people that had employment because of bear baiting?
The Labour party have told all their MPs to vote against the relaxation of the fox hunting ban. The Tories can vote by their conscience. I would hope that their conscience tells them that gratuitous cruelty to animals is wrong.