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Fox Hunting

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Introduction

Foxhunting Foxhunting has become a very controversial issue in recent years with both sides fighting to see that the result of the debate goes in their favour. While those against put forward a good argument, those in favour have an equally persuasive view point. On the whole, I feel those against foxhunting have a more credible argument. A question that, if answered, could end the entire debate is quite simply "are foxes really pests to farmers"? The Countryside Alliance says yes. Farmers have recorded a 30% loss due to foxes and the number of free range poultry lost to foxes is on the increase. Lambs are also in danger according to the Countryside Alliance's report. This argument is supported by Dr David Macdonald, an distinguished Oxford biologist. Dr David Macdonald has also found that the percentage of farmers believing that foxes should be controlled varied between 82.2% in the Midlands and 96.2% in the sheep rearing districts of Exmoor. Nor is the fox just a pest to farmers but game rearers and wildlife managers suffer serious fox predation on species of ground nesting birds, from grouse and pheasants to gulls, terns and waders. ...read more.

Middle

It is obviously true that the breeding success of the species would be depressed by overcrowding, starvation and disease but it cannot be shown foxes control their own numbers at a level where no damage will occur. But those opposed to foxhunting do not say that foxes do not any damage but that fox hunting plays no significant role in controlling the fox population. Foxhunting merely produces an unnaturally young fox population and has no other effect on the populace. Dr Stephen Harris of Bristol University revealed that foxhunting kills around 2.5% of the fox population, which is between 12,000 and 13,000, each year. This seems a lot and in some ways it is, but fox population can survive an annual mortality rate of up to 65%. It therefore seems clear that hunting has no significant role in the control of fox numbers. In other words, 12,000 foxes die each year for no reason other that 'sport'. A three-year study by Aberdeen University showed that even though there was no form of fox control , there wasn't an increase in fox numbers or even in the number of lambs lost. ...read more.

Conclusion

Foxhunting is not a form of control, nor is it meant to be. The argument that foxhunting helps control the fox population was recently invented to counter the protests of those who voiced the opinions of the inhumane 'sport'. Thousands of fox cubs are orphaned every year due to foxhunting and the unlucky ones die of starvation or fall victim to another fox while those with better luck are picked up and taken to an animal shelter. The death itself , though violent and painful, may be quick but the real cruelty of foxhunting lies in the exhaustion, terror and trauma inflicted on the victim as no decent person would wish upon another human being. I feel that foxes do need to be controlled but after looking at all the evidence, I am even more strongly against foxhunting as it is an ineffective form of pest control and is little more than torture carried out by people as cruel as the sport. Livestock and game should be protected by better housing and not a pack of savage, bloodthirsty people on horses or foot and their dogs bred to tear apart their cousins. ...read more.

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