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Deer - Britain's wonderful wildlife, should they be hunted?

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Deer-Britain's wonderful wildlife, should they be hunted? The stag ran through the wood, already exhausted, it struggled to see where it was going. The hunt had been going on for three hours. It could hear the howls and excited barking from the forty or so hounds in the distance, every minute getting closer. Its eyes bulged, its once steadfast legs were about to buckle beneath it, its mouth hung open struggling for air, and its head that was once held high in its grandeur, hung low. Finally, too weak to carry on, the stag falls and waits to be murdered. How can we let an animal, which represents the beauty of the English countryside, be tortured like this? The red deer is the U.K.'s largest native land animal, standing up to 1.5 metres at the shoulder and can weigh up to 225 kilograms. ...read more.


Predators would have culled the old and sick and, to somewhat degree, controlled the numbers of deer. But how should deer numbers be controlled by humans? Annually, at least 80,000 deer are killed by shooting to remove the old, sick and to prevent over population. A professional marksman, using a high powered rifle with telescopic sights, can kill a grazing deer instantly. Deer hunting, using slower hunting dogs and the selection of a fit, strong stag, gives a long exhausting chase over many many miles. Traumatising a helpless creature instead of shooting it and giving instant, effective death is not my idea of an effective way to cull deer! Hunt propagandists claim that if deer hunting with dogs were abolished it would lead to red deer being exterminated on Exmoor, they base this on the following suppositions: Firstly," Hunting causes deer to spread across a wide area which would reduce crop losses caused by large groups of deer." ...read more.


Hunting with dogs is totally unnatural. Wild predators select the old and sick specimens of the herd, but if the deer is able to outrun the predator for several minutes it gives up. However, deer hunting is to provide a long exhausting chase, a strong, fit stag is chosen by a hunt harbourer. There is no natural predator in the world which hunts defenceless prey for 20 miles over a period of several hours - and which uses motorcyclists equipped with CB radio to keep track of the running deer! Now, as you can see from these examples, humankind is the only enemy. What sense does it make to torture and murder an animal like this? 30 riders, 30 horses, at least 40 hounds, several terrier men in Land Rovers with terrier dogs and spades and several hunt followers in cars... versus one stag. Does that sound to you like a fair way to control deer population? Andrew McMillan 11S ...read more.

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