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Foxhunting - is this sport?

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  • Should be banned as simple as that
  • Spectators block up roads
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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      29.03.2011 23:52

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      Fox hunting with hounds should be cracked down on!

      Most people that are for fox-hunting (with hounds) i find, claim that they are country people and know what is best. I thouroughly disagree. I am a country girl myself, I live on a farm and there is nothing i despise more than the fox hunt with hounds. The grim memories of chasing the hunt asking them to get off of our land as they were on it without permission and messing up out fields, listening to them swearing at me saying that i was and immature little..... then hearing the shrieks from a fox as the hounds grip their teeth into it still ring through my mind. Admitadly, we have lost animals to the foxes, but i believe that shooting them is more humane as they are not chased across field after field until exhaustion then ripped to shreads by eager dogs, they are shot once, maybe twice, not put through hours of stress. The hunt are a big nuisance to my family and all other farmers that i know. "It is a sport". This is what members of the fox hunt say. Does that mean cock fighting is a sport? That dog fighting is a sport? What ever happened to going for a nice ride across the fields now it is i'm going to trespass on other peoples land just to get the satisfaction of taking another beings life because i am bigger than them.
      It is so frustrating, especially being the age i am and having no control whatsoever. The only thing that the foxhunt think is 'they are smaller than us so we can do what we want' well you know what i say? Pick on someone your own size.

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      25.12.2010 23:54
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      base and barbaric

      .Every country has its own sporting tradition rooted in the weak being preyed on by the strong . From the bible's David & Goliath, the Roman sport of the prisoner fighting a lion, to the prisoner figting a guard, to the Spanish Art of Bullfighting and the English Sport of Foxhunting. History however does not make it right.

      To me there is very little pleasure that could be taken in shooting an innocent animal for mere sport. In the beginning I can understand our ancestors hunting out of necesity, out of a need to survive, for the prey to be killed in order for the hunter to survive. However in this day an age there is no reason, no need to hunt except for what people describe as "pleasure". What can possibly be "pleasurable" about taking an innocent life for no reason.

      If pleasure can be taken in such a barbaric bloodthursty way how can these people be so appalled when we hear on the news about the same happening to our own kind. The way in which people hunt weak animals, to me is no different than a human being doing the same to their own kind. No other animal hunts for mere fun, so the above should come as no surprise.

      We are the only species that kill other species for fun and not food, we are also the only species that kill our own for the same reason. To me it is not a sport, not an example of upper class elitism, nothing more than base barbarianism, and should be stopped!

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        28.07.2010 17:24
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        Warning, this is an intense anti-hunting rant of about 2,000 words

        Fox hunting has historic roots, as does death for entertainment in almost every culture across the globe. In Rome and its empire pretty much anything was game. Fear, pain, and ultimate death is also still considered a sport in many countries, bull fighting, hare coursing, bear/badger baiting, dog fights, the list of ways humanity can think of to rip members of other species apart purely to sate some kind of primitive blood lust seems endless. In eras gone by most of these activities had some function in honing the hunting skills of people who relied on these abilities and techniques to survive (training their hunting animals - dogs - to bring down prey was probably pretty essential too). It helped to sharpen their speed, agility and strategic thinking. However this necessity has mutated into something in my opinion all together more sinister, dark and sick.

        In western society today food is plentiful for most people, and 'pests' are very easily controlled in a humane way. In most cases there is absolutely no reason to kill animals in such a terrifying brutal fashion (or to use the mass slaughter techniques used in some areas of farming, but that's a different matter) to hone any survival skills. If we did wish to keep our hunting skills sharp, for instance if you are a survivalist then there are other ways of doing this.

        Hunting as a sport which also feeds your family I have no quarrel with, such as deer culls, rabbit hunting (by gun), these are by and large done as humanely as possible, and the only sport is the skill it takes to stalk the animal (if done correctly the animal isn't even aware that you are there) and marksmanship to get a clean kill which takes the poor animal out in the most humane way possible. As long as the animal is not 'wasted' and the number killed isn't over what is strictly needed to keep the herd etc healthy then I feel this is ok .... Though I still wouldn't do it myself.

        Fox hunting has strong class connotations in Britain being primarily an upper class pursuit. I personally believe that the participation in this cruel event is primarily a 'ruling' class thing, and is why those who participate in fox hunting desperately try to propagate the idea that this savage pursuit is a sport. Equally vicious sports traditionally indulged in by the 'working' or 'lower' classes such as cock and dog fighting have long been outlawed, and frowned upon by virtually everyone, and considered (rightly so) barbaric. The same judges etc that would pass sentence on anyone participating in these lower class 'entertainments', fight for the right to the 'sport' of running down a terrified animal with a large pack of excited dogs, whilst they perch upon even larger hoofed animals. Thundering across the countryside damaging hedgerows, fences and pounding their backsides to a pulp in pursuit of one tiny terrified animal that could not put up a fight in its own defence if it were caught.

        If fox hunting was a primarily working class 'sport', where every season the babies of a relatively defenceless animal were dug out of their den, slaughtered, then the blood was used to smear over the faces of the offspring of the 'hunter' in a 'blooding' ceremony to introduce them to the pursuit there would be outrage. The House of Lords would echo with panic driven cries about ritualistic pagan ceremonies with satanic connotations with calls for its immediate banning for the sake of the poor traumatised, brutalised children, and the suffering of the animals concerned.

        The people who indulge in this pastime will argue that foxes are a pest and must be controlled, and they may as well have *fun* whilst doing so. This is a completely and utterly fatuous argument. If only for the reason that the primary source of protein for foxes is rats and other 'vermin'. Therefore they are a natural predator that keeps other more prolific 'pests' in check. Also we don't chase down other 'pests' with horses and hounds and guffaw as it's ripped to pieces.

        Anyone who inflicts pleasure on any other living thing purely for pleasure has a seriously major circuit missing. I suspect this emotional detachment in some of the 'upper classes' occurs when parents send their unformed youngsters off to be brought up in an institution (school) and farm them out to nannies before that. Where they often learn to control their feelings, and sublimate the natural out pouring of affection or empathy a child feels for its parent/siblings/community and extended environment. They may be subjected to and meet out the sort of harsh treatment by and to peers that can squash natural feelings of empathy. I understand that these comments are hugely sweeping, and clearly do not apply to most people in the above circumstances. This is pure conjecture, with a smattering of observation.

        Isn't the torture of animals one of the classic 'profile' signs of the incipient serial killer? I would class any pleasure taken in killing to be a psychopathic trait, whether you are a working class dog fighting enthusiast or a (usually) privileged fox murderer.

        If I haven't alienated anyone already (probably unlikely) then this might do the trick, however I believe it to be true, and am awaiting the proof via new legalisation legalising fox hunting. The spate of media ranting over foxes trying to 'eat' children in urban areas is I suspect a right wing media ploy now that the Tories are back in the seat of power to fire up the masses to agree to lift the fox hunting ban. Of course I'm not denying that the incidents happened or that they were awful. It is always horrific and scary when this kind of thing happens, and I genuinely have the greatest sympathy for any family it has affected. I am not a crazed animal fanatic that would put the life of the little ones over a fox with a taste for flesh, and I believe the animals in question should be destroyed or re-located. However we live in a country where we have no dangerous animals (other than the lethal mostly only to small children adder) and we forget that nature has a right to exist and that we need to be vigilant. We have to live alongside and within our environment and its other inhabitants.

        These accidents have always happened, and is not a new development in fox behaviour since the hunting ban as I'm sure will now be purported. Babies and toddlers being killed by family dogs or even family members for that matter is FAR more common than the lesser injuries caused by fox interference.

        Hunting enthusiasts also tend to rant about how wasteful and evil the hunting habits of the fox are; in an attempt to justify their hobby. I acknowledge that if you are unfortunate enough to get a fox in your coop or rabbit hutch as my gran did on many occasions then it will most likely lay waste to as many meals on legs as it can. However not having the benefit of a four by four to transport its shopping it has to carry them off one by one, so you see it is not being wasteful, it is bulk buying to feed its family and self. If you do not panic and can leave the chickens/rabbits for a while you will usually observe the fox return (unless it has been ripped to shreds by dogs and salivating humans in the meantime) to take or hide the other carcasses for future feeding so is not being simply wilfully destructive, simply intelligently planning for times when food may not be so plentiful.

        We put all these bad labels on animals as if they have some concept of human morality and society. Have the people who do this have no concept that the planet does not belong to US. We will never own it, everything on this globe has won its right to be here, and if our society impinges on their environment and suffers from it then that is just our tough luck, and we should be gracious about it. I'm not advocating allowing any animal to wander into our homes and do whatever they want, but we should be aware that we do share this island with other animals (I think people forget that we are just another animal exploiting our environment for survival), and be responsible for taking reasonable precautions to keep our families safe.

        Other societies live with far greater threats than we do in the U.K, venomous snakes, poisonous spiders; large predators such as bears, tigers etc, and you often find that the people often respect the animal (not always, such as the killing of a Rhino just for its horn, but while I do not think it is acceptable at least it is for money/survival not just fun). Often (when possible) moving a dangerous animal away from their home rather than killing it, or making 'sport' of it, and will only kill the animal when severe danger is imminent, or the animal has become habituated to using people as easy prey.

        Fox hunters will often whine about how the industry that has grown up around this death cult would suffer, and how many jobs will be lost if it is banned outright (hunts do still occur even though there is a ban). To that I say an unequivocal 'tough poo'. Other walks of society have had to accept changes in demand. Whole industries employing far greater numbers than hunting ever did were decimated with hardly a second though (anyone remember coal mining or shipyards in this country) and have had to retrain or retire. Putting the fox hunting 'industry' workers out of a job is an acceptable sacrifice. The hounds bred for the 'sport' they say will not make pets and will have to be destroyed. I say It would only be a generation or two before the traits are bred out enough to be able home the offspring of these animals with suitable owners. However the people that hunt show their lack of humanity by saying the animals should be destroyed, revealing how they see animals, even ones they have bred and lived with themselves - as things - once they are of no use to them they are to be discarded, this is pretty much how they see people too (in my opinion). It would not even occur to them to simply allow the dogs to live out their lives with them, and maybe use them in 'drag hunting' (where a scent is laid by humans for the hounds and hunt to follow). Hunters claim that drag hunting is not an alternative to Fox Hunting. What utter rubbish, it is only not an alternative because it doesn't involve chasing a quarry that can get into inaccessible places, and there is no kill. Again my response to that is so what? I don't care if you are inconvenienced in your sport. Preventing the extreme cruelty involved in this past time and to prevent a 'hard' mindset in the next generation of the hunting fraternity makes that inconvenience a very small price to pay. It won't kill 'them' to alter the hunt so that it is not barbaric. It will kill the fox, hounds that do not come up to scratch, and horses that are injured during the hunt and training... Oh yes they kill their hounds and horses too.

        Most sports are based on the matched skills of opposing teams or individuals, fox hunting does not have this aspect, even if the animal is not caught, the hunters were not pitted against an 'opponent' of similar abilities and advantages with an equal chance to come out on top, there is no competitive element to this activity. When are we going to become the civilised society we think we are. No society that kills for fun it truly civilised. It's time to own up to the fact that anyone who wants to chase down and rip anything alive to shreds then bathe their children in the blood (once a year) is sick not sporting and needs help. To any advocates of fox hunting be grown up and give up on this barbaric past time gracefully as other societies have done. Then perhaps we can evolve as human beings and start being less homicidal and genocidal too

        (Only given a star because giving none apparently isn't an option)

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          12.06.2010 19:19
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          ^

          Like many institutions that permeate society, fox hunting has it's roots in the ancient past. Pre-Roman for England and even further back for many of the countries that practice it in Europe and further afield.

          Whilst the act of hunting is nothing new and should be totally acceptable, social mores and conventions swing, change and whilst not adapt, change with the passage of time.

          Foxes are a predatory animal which prey on other game (and children if you live in the inner city, ref: recent events in Hackney), their population if allowed to, would be high and this would have an effect on the ecology potentially. Perhaps something similar to the events that occured when Red Foxes were introduced to Australia. Red Foxes in the UK have virtually no natural predators other than dogs.

          Fox hunting also, according to the Burns Report, creates around 6000 jobs within and surrounding the hunt itself. That's a lot of jobs and a lot of income brought into the economic system.

          Class seems to be the deciding factor in Fox Hunting - it's a sport for the upper classes and nothing more, as it is represented through many mediums - from Punch! to Oscar Wilde with the words 'The Unspeakable hunting the uneatable'. Class or Schadenfreude seems to inspire much hatred, Fox Hunting is pretty exclusive especially when considering the thousands that are employed for those purposes.

          It's easy to sit back in the comfort of a heavy industrialised urban environment and pass judgment on situations and circumstances for which tertiary accounts are the only source of knowledge and reference material.

          Of the class issues briefly mentioned earlier and in a crude fashion, many things that were once the province of the upper classes have been found acceptable and enjoyable once they've been subsumed by the other classes - mobile phones were once the symbol of the yuppie and we all have one now (some have two, the swines), Champagne was expensive, limousines were only for the rich and so on. Sadly, with this argument for class adaptation, these are all only objects and not something living.

          Fox Hunting is not a sport. Hunting is not a sport. It's playing at survival skills, it's playing at organisation and tactics. There is nothing sporting about hunting. It has it's root in the reptile brain and in an evolutionary context is vitally important just as much as the humble canine became "man's" best friend as an adaptation of the wolf.

          There is a far better 'sport' allegedly called 'Hunting of the Clean Boot' in which the tracking dogs are used to track a human, presumably once cornered the dogs shower the human with affection.

          Finally, I feel the need to stress that I do not think Fox Hunting is acceptable and not a sport. It has it's roots in history and is relatively unchanged in centuries and on that basis maybe it should be allowed to continue in a modified form. The Nazi's banned it outright in '34 . Just saying.

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            20.04.2010 02:19
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            Reject foxhunting but understand the countryside

            First off my personal feeling is that it is wrong to hunt an animal if it is not for any good reason / use such as the survival of the species. I must admit at this point to being a hypocrite because yes I have leather on shoes, but that is another issue. I do not support fox hunting. And in answer to the question, no I don't believe that fox hunting is a sport.
            Sport requires skill and I truly don't believe there is much skill involved in chasing each other about on horseback.

            We are told by the pro hunting lobby that there is a need need to control the fox population and hunting is the ideal means to do this. We are informed that banning fox hunting is an attack upon the way of life in the countryside and causes job losses.

            Firstly there are more efficient and humane ways of controlling the fox population. Secondly I accept there is an element of malice towards the countyside from some city dwellers and it is true that for a small proportion of country dwellers fox hunting is a part of their way of life. However, ways of life can change. In fact life is changing all the time. In urban areas in the north and midlands complete communities were decimated by the closures of coal mines. All over the country there is no such thing as a job for life any more. Its not great but life moves on and things change, certain things that we believed were acceptable yesterday (no blacks, irish etc signs in hotels in 60's, 70's, or women not having the right to vote) are considered totally unacceptable today. You don't really see animals perform in circus acts any more... My sense is that in a decade or so most zoo's will be closed. The countryside alliance should be looking towards the future rather than just helping supporters of fox hunting evade the law using various techniques.

            What irritates me is that much of the argument by those that defend fox hunting avoids the real reason why most go fox hunting in the first place - the thrill of the chase or worse still bloodlust. Its a primal emotion and none of us should kid ourselves that we aren't all capable of it in certain circimstances. Certainly it is a relative of the madness of crowds, for example the rent a mob type of behaviour of some pro lifers in the United States. Essentially the adrenalin gets going with the chase and the resolution or pinnacle of that is the slaughter of the fox by the dogs.

            To give some fox hunters credit, a few are prepared to admit this when you speak to them, but you won't see this argument employed in front of the TV cameras.

            This is a polarised debate, but I think those of us who are against fox hunting should be prepared to offer solutions for the problems of the countryside, whilst arguing against fox hunting. At least it will show that there is goodwill, and there should be goodwill too.

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              24.03.2010 18:07
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              "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"

              Foxhunting is not a sport, but rather an inhumane way for some "people" to enjoy themselves. Personally, I am completely against fox hunting, and I simply can't understand the attraction people get from it. What exactly is so enjoyable about chasing a terrified creature with a loaded gun, usually driving it to exhaustion, only to shoot it for all of its troubles? Are foxes these evil creature we need to eradicate? Are we hunting them for food or for our own survival? No. It's simply to end another creature's life, and not even in a humane or kind why, but by driving it to the edge in a hunt of bloodlust and self satisfaction. If that fox leaves behind a family it was providing for, then that family is as good as dead and despite what people think animals CAN experience emotions too, albeit differently from us but still, even on a basic level they can feel.

              There is a quote "The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?"

              In my opinion this adequately sums up my views on fox hunting.

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                30.01.2010 22:12
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                an excuse to kill an innocent creature,theres easier ways to get your kicks!

                Foxhunting....savagery NOT sport....

                Foxhunting is a delicate subject,not so much for the majority of the common people who will agree that it is not a sport,and it is deffinitely not humane.Originally the main excuse for fox hunting and being allowed to get away with this savagery was that the foxes were overrunning the place and becoming a nuisance to farmers,killing their livestock and if we didnt do something then they would venture into towns etc and become a nuisance to us.Well.......how many foxes have you seen lately while out on a country drive?sat having a countryside picnic?yep...thought as much.Fox numbers have dwindled and this is because of the savage sport of fox hunting.
                Lets just go through this so called sport .....items needed,horses,fox or rag covered in fox smell(most likely the blood from the last fox they killed)some upper class people in red coats complete with a hornblower)and just to make it even fairer and more humane - a gun.
                The dogs in most hunts are not fed for a day or so before a hunt,else they would not have that primal kill instinct needed for the poor fox,a rag is supposedly (this is in the more humane hunts) rubbed around the area creating a scent for the dogs to track...strange how they always end up frinding an actual fox though isnt it?!and off they go the pompous upper class idiots out for a ride on their horses,if you want a run go round a track!!The dogs pick up the scent and follow the scents with their masters on horseback following behind them.The dogs keep going until they catch a fox...thats singular,1 fox to about 20 dogs,horses and men,thats a sport?!isnt sport meant to be fair...equal...with rules....sporting meaning give the other person chance to win aswell?hows a fox meant to do that?Upon catching the fox,the horseman by law has to then shoot the fox or what is left of it after being mauled by all those dogs,this is apparently humane......the dogs are rewarded and sometimes carry on hunting all day killing numerous foxes,even going into the foxes dens and ripping apart fox cubs.The dogs are destroyed after a few years because the hunting and starvation makes them un homeable.
                I really do not see how anyone can call this a sport.....humane or otherwise,its a war against an animal that stands...stood no chance.Hopefully like most wars it will come to an end with an outright ban...but since the upper class love it so much i cant ever see it happening can you?

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                  09.01.2010 08:18
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                  A sport that will continue dispite the bans it will be conducted on private land, forever!

                  Although I do not like fox hunting or any other blood sport for that matter , it is after all a sport, And although we see the demonstrations about it nothing is really going to stop it forever.

                  Fox hunting started way back in the 16th century and although times have changed and things are different I don't think people feelings have changed that much I recall my great granny saying they hated the fox hunters when she was younger as they were not allowed to play in one field on a Sunday, and that it was cruel, so i am pretty sure there have been people protesting about it since way back at the start,

                  The Thing with Fox hunting, it is an elite sport and whilst i agree with some foxes being a pain for the local farmer I can not agree with the way they go about the way of allowing people to charge their land on horse back with a pack of dogs to attack the fox savagely.

                  In the UK we have means to dispose of pests in a humane way and the thought that their is no humane way after a few centuries to dispose of a fox is a bit baffling to me.
                  I would much rather see a fox die humanly than to watch it being ripped apart by flesh hungry dogs and then for a group of posh toffy nosed people on horse back to celebrate what they had done with a glug of the finest whiskey.

                  But get those same posh people in a room and ask them their thoughts on the nazis' and ten to one they all call them savages, yes in a way i would agree with them , but ignoring all the war issues... something that always seems to be mentioned ... but unlike the the UK the nazis enforced a ban on all hunting with hounds in 1934 with a few other countries following suit Spain ,Denmark ,Finland, Sweeden and Norway.

                  Yes bans were introduced in 2004,,,,but it still goes on, and like most issues with the elite it is hidden out of view from the public or the elite can "buy" their way out of it or they are that rich and have vast amounts of land that they can do as they please.

                  I have read that foxes are killed outright when caught by the dog but are they sure? i do not think so , after all there are that many dogs around the fox at the time it is caught it is impossible to get in there and truly discover if it died instantly so that argument they can whistle till the cows come home for me

                  Overall it is a sport, one the elite choose to adopt to partake in , which i do not agree with , why they can not be happy with clay pigeon shooting is beyond me , why are the elites sports all aimed at killing something?

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                    10.11.2009 00:01
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                    A so called "sport" under scrutiny

                    I would like to use this as an opportunity to give both sides of this argument about fox hunting before giving my own opinion. I will now state the arguments:

                    1) Those who oppose fox hunting argue that the so called sport is evil and cruel. However in response some would say that the death of the fox is quick and painless due to the chasing dog's instinct to administer a "quick nip" to the back of the fleeing fox's head which kills it instantly and outright. Besides other alternatives - shooting, gassing, snaring or poisoning - would all inflict much more pain and suffering on the foxes.

                    2) Furthermore it is argued that the fox suffers great trauma and rightfully fears for its' life while being chased and this is not fair.
                    Pro fox hunters would argue that the fox does not anticipate death, so is not unduly traumatised by the pursuit.

                    3) Those against the hunting would argue that the fox are one of our largest wild animals left in the British Isles, in the past we have managed to kill off all the other large predators and so this is likely to happen to the fox if it is not put to a stop. Hunters would argue that 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 and they were forced to conduct illegal hunts.

                    4) It is killing for the amusement of a bunch of people who could use their time and money a lot more productively. Hunters would argue that it is tradition and in the family so although it may be seen as killing for the amusement of humans they are not prepared to break tradition.

                    In my opinion I think that fox hunting is totally wrong as it is bad enough that animals are being killed in the world for meat and the purposed of fasion, but killing an animal purely for entertainment and enjoyment is totally wrong and inhumane.

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                      07.09.2009 19:02
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                      its not a sport

                      Foxhunting. The art of shooting down an animal, whilst it has its back turned, running away from a stupid loud barking bunch of gundogs which have been strategically placed to give the 'hunter' an unfair advantage.

                      This is firstly not a sport, and secondly this is not what I define as hunting.

                      However, it does provide some people, mainly those with an inferiority complex, to feel really manly and great about themselves that they can win in the fairest, greatest battle of all time...

                      Fox VS Man...and dogs...and horse...and gun.

                      This subject is a bit of a tricky one. If you enjoy shooting any form of animal whether it be a protected one or a piece of vermin it is still a creature given the gift of life and for any person to deem themselves worthy of taking that right away is certainly suffering from some deep rooted psychological issues.

                      I would however agree with a more even match of maybe a lion and a man. Fox massacre is such a cop out.

                      An even match where both parties understood the rules and both freely entered...now that is a sport.

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                        23.03.2009 12:16
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                        It Just Isn't A Proper Sport

                        Foxhunting is not really a sport in my opinion for a number of reasons.

                        There aren't really any properly set out rules. There isn't a clear winner amongst the competitors at the end of the hunt.

                        As far as I'm aware there are no official championships, leagues, league tables, individual or team performance ratings or rankings or anything like that. So how exactly do you measure who is good at foxhunting and who isn't?

                        If it is a sport in the true competitive sense of the word then there needs to be a measurement of ability and results, but their aren't any.

                        But is it a sport if you compare it to some other activities that are called a "sport"?

                        Rowing: This isn't really a sport is it? You can do it sitting down. The boat goes backwards which is daft. Mainly posh people do it and the posh aren't exactly hard are they? Give me the budget and let me take rowing into the inner cities to the working classes. Within 2 years the working class hard men and women rowers would be cruising past the toffs.

                        Fishing (Angling): How is this a sport and shouldn't it be called fish tricking? Why not have a sport called Daddy Long Legs catching as it would be about the same mismatch between man and animal as fishing is.

                        Large Super Sized Vegetable Growing: This is just a sad activity and sometimes it can even cause fights between competitors and dawn raid acts of sabotage "down the allotments".

                        Synchronised Swimming: A made up "sport" by nose clip and swimming goggle manufacturers. A master stroke, or not as the case may be.

                        Fox hunting is a sporting activity of sorts but not a sport in my opinion.

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                          12.03.2009 20:36
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                          Freedom of choice for those that partake in fox hunting

                          hmmm.... Foxhunting. I used to be staunchly against anyone hunting foxes for sport, for fun, for any reason. Much of me still is. I'd certainly not like to go out on a hunt. But, in recent years something changed. Legislation was put forward by city-folk to change the law and ban foxhunting. Why? Because many people thought it was barbaric. This stirred me up somewhat. A great deal of commercial meat and egg production is barbaric. Far more barbaric than the hunting of a fox. Chickens are raised in tiny cages, given no sunlight and pumped full of drugs. Livestock are killed in totally inhumane ways, often not being fully killed by whatever instrument is being used to dispatch them, leaving them suffering for several minutes. Yet none of this is illegal - it is up to the consumer to buy meat from more caring sources should they feel that they need to.

                          Fox hunting is a tradition carried out by the upper gentry for hundreds of years. It involves the killing of only a few hundred animals per year, and these animals are usually killed relatively quickly. I don't like it, but I certainly don't think I have the right to tell others that they cannot do it.

                          I feel it is nothing more than class warfare. The majority see these red-coated, horse mounted wealthy men and women making lots of sound and running around like buffoons. They are forced to defend themselves and come up with ideas like "we hunt them to protect the chickens" etc. This isn't really the case, as fox hunting is a highly cost-ineffective and time consuming way of protecting your hens. They do it for fun and to retain tradition.

                          I still have the right to go out, get a license and shoot and maim plenty of other animals. What makes the fox special? I can take my dog out and send him hunting rabbits. I can stalk deer. My cat kills creatures all the time and does not eat them. You and I may think that we should not go out and and kill things for fun, but plenty of other creatures AND humans do exactly that AND think that it is fine. And they should have the freedom to do exactly that. I believe we can change society by becoming different people ourselves, not by forcing others to be different.

                          Let it not be me who tells another that they cannot do something because I "don't like it". Fox hunting will die if those that believe it is good have children that want things to be different and stop hunting. Fox hunting should not be banned because other people think that it sucks.

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                            29.01.2009 11:48
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                            We need to get our own house in order first

                            I knew I should never have wandered into Speakers Corner ...

                            Firstly I must clarify - I've never been foxhunting, but I have for quite a number of years now lived in rural locations within the British Isles, and I don't think any would argue that my lifestyle is pretty 'basic,' so I don't have much to associate myself with the upper classes.

                            But I am constantly struck by the hypocrisy associated with the subject of foxhunting and after many years of coming across such outbursts feel it's time to give people food for thought.

                            Firstly, lets get the myth out of the way that foxes eat livestock to survive - they don't. In fact, the areas worst hit by fox attacks are usually populated by rabbits (and zillions of them) Foxes do kill for fun. Don't believe me? Well watch a ratting terrier at work and then tell me that animals only kill to survive. The same thing basically happens when a fox gets into a compound with birds. He will kill them all and, perhaps, maybe, take one.
                            So you may think that is the bird he is going to eat ... not so I'm afraid. Nine times out of ten you can track the fox, basically due to the trail of feathers it leaves. The fox will part bury the bird in loose soil or leaves and that is it. You can go back months later, the bird will still be there. So Mr Fox wasn't that hungry after all ...

                            So where you may think, does my statement about hypocrisy come in?

                            Well, I think the main objection to fox hunting, is that it is performed by people looking to enjoy themselves, have a day out and a damn good time - yes? It is this reversion to base, antiquated human mentality of inflicting suffering on another creature unable to defend itself, that really stirs our guts.

                            So, next Christmas, when you are all sat around that turkey - you know the one - the one that has been reared in a shed, never seen daylight until it was picked up by a leg, wing or neck, chucked into a lorry with hundreds of other birds and transported, terrified, to be hung by its legs, stunned (if it's lucky) and had its throat cut, so you could sit around in your party hats, popping poppers, and telling jokes and stuffing yourself until you can't get off the couch to wash the pots and chuck the carcass remnants in the bin - are you really bothered ... really????

                            Okay, some of you are, but most, the vast majority, are going to go down the 'traditional,' 'cheap (we can't afford free range)' 'they're only birds they can't feel anything,' 'we're entitled to it' route.

                            Please tell me though, what makes you any better/worse than the fox hunters - oh, don't tell me, you're eating your 'kill,' - but you don't really need to, now do you? Come 1st January you will all be taking New Year resolutions to diet.

                            I hope that at least some of you out there don't hit the 'automatically offended' button and try and digest some of the things I've said. I'm certainly not a 'fox hater' and have rescued more animals than most of you have had hot dinners, but think on it this way:
                            If all the intensive units disappeared tomorrow, chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese - if they all went and you did have to rely on getting free range birds to access poultry - how would you really feel about fox controls if the farmer turned round to you and said you couldn't have any bird related products (including eggs) for the next year because foxes had killed all his stock?

                            I'm not saying one opinion is right and one is wrong - just that for the majority of the time it's a case of 'people who live in glass houses ...'

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                              21.01.2009 00:20
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                              Something from the past, that should have stayed there.

                              I was born in the countryside and moved to the city, I see urban foxes and yeah they knock over bins and make a noise but hey, theres far worse things going on in the City and I don't see groups of posh people on horses chasing thieves or yobs down the streets to kill them as their an urban menace.

                              In the countryside I do understand that foxes are hungry and do attempt to kill chickens etc to live, but surely farmers protect against this, my family had chicken coups, which were protected so that you couldn't get in them without having the ability to unlock a gate, which i'm sure foxes haven't achieved in their evolutionary development yet.

                              Well, as you can guess i'm against fox hunting, its not a sport, foxes aren't willing competitors in this fair contest, with rules, foxes are hunted down simply to be killed, dogs chase the foxes followed by horses, I don't really understand what the people do other than ride the horses and talk about how their benefitting the environment for us all. Maybe its a cultural thing but I never met anyone in my home area who agreed with this and don't in the city either, it seems to be a class thing, done by people who've done it through their families for centuries, either as participants or people who have jobs through this cruel trade.

                              Either way there are better ways to make a living, and to my mind this definitely ain't a sport, it isn't a competition of equals, you know there will only be one winner and that's generally the red-faced fatty on the horse.

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                                13.01.2009 09:47

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                                Its horrific.

                                In one word - NO. How can you call the slaughter and mauling of these animals sport? I live in the country and have been taught to respect animals, they are not simply creatures for our amusement. They can feel pain just as we do, just because they cannot speak our language and tell us that it hurts does not make it ok to hunt them. What have they done to deserve this? Can you imagine the fear these poor animals must feel, running for their lives away from the jaws of a dog? I just can't bear to think about it. The poor things, including pregnant foxes having to run themselves to the point of exhaustion and then giving up to the dogs because they can't go on any more and being savagely ripped to shreds? I cannot believe there are human beings out there that call this sport. Its horrific. It makes me upset just writing this.

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                              Does the sound of a bugle and a pack of hounds fill your veins with joy and adrenaline or anger and hatred? One of the most contentious subjects out there. Leave you opinions here.