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UK Bans Fox Hunting with Dogs

Amid a barrage of protests, the British Legislature voted to ban the centuries-old practice of fox hunting with dogs last week.
According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) an opinion poll last year indicated that 76% of the British public wanted to see hunting with dogs banned. Elected members of parliament have continually voted overwhelmingly for an end to hunting with dogs. However, the unelected House of Lords has hindered the legislation.

In 2003, British MPs voted to end hunting with dogs in England and Wales but the House of Lords rejected the ban. Last Wednesday, British MPs again voted to ban hunting with dogs, with 356 for votes to 166 against. Although the implementation of the ban will be delayed for 18 months, this is a historical victory against hunting.
Pack Dog Hunting 22.Sep.2004 23:46

Creates

far more destruction than most people realize. British fox hunting typically involves releasing large packs of dogs onto the scent of a fox. However when the dogs run wild in a pack after an animal they often kill other animals they encounter along the way. These include fawns, squirels, chipmonks, birds, cats, small domestic dogs, and any other small animal that happens to be in the way. That's why pack dog hunting has been heavily regulated in many states in the US.

Because of the UK saboteurs, hunting with hounds will stop in the UK 23.Sep.2004 00:54

P

(see article at the end of this post.)
In our delight over this long fought victory, let us not forget the hunt saboteurs who were killed or seriously injured trying to stop the hunts. It is because of those brave warriors who went out day after day, month after month for years in the mud, cold and rain and risked (and lost) their lives, that this disgusting, evil blood sport will soon come to an end in the UK.

In memory of the two warriors who were killed please read their stories below and visit the web sites for more information.
The UK has already banned bear baiting, cockfighting and badger baiting. Now the long time tradition of hunting foxes, hares and stags with hounds will also come to an end.

It is interesting to note that large animal welfare organizations here in California with lots of money have been trying through political channels via our state representatives to outlaw bear baiting. A group of California activists went via bus to the state capitol in Sacramento last year to beg their representatives to outlaw the horrific practice of bear baiting (dogs chase the poor bears up into trees and the hunter shoots them at point blank range.) We lost. The politicians sided with the hunters. On the bus home that day I heard someone in the rear of the bus say "I learned from this trip that change doesn't come about by asking politely or begging." I think the hunt saboteurs in the UK realized that a long time ago.
P


1991 Hunt saboteur, Mike Hill, was killed on the 9th of February 1991 at a meet of the Cheshire Beagles. Towards the end of the day's hunting, with no kill under his belt, the huntsman boxed up his hounds in a small blue trailer being towed by an open-top pick-up truck. The kennel huntsman, ALLAN SUMMERSGILL, with another man, jumped into the pick-up and, on impulse, three sabs who were nearby, jumped onto the back of it to prevent them driving the pack to another location to continue hunting. Summersgill drove off at high speeds down winding country roads for 5 miles with the terrified sabs clinging onto the back. It is thought that Mike jumped from the pick-up as it slowed to take a bend. He failed to clear the truck properly, and was caught between the truck and the trailer, which crushed him. Mike died where he lay on the road.
Despite the thud, and the screams of the other sabs, Summersgill continued driving for a further mile. The truck only came to a halt when one of the sabs smashed the rear window of the cab. The sab was hit with a whip as he tried to stop the truck. Once it had stopped one sab ran back to Mike's prone body while the other ran to a nearby house to call for an ambulance. Summersgill drove off. He later handed himself in at a police station.

No charges were brought against him and in a travesty of justice, a verdict of 'Accidental Death' was brought at the inquest. Summersgill is still hunting hares.

1993 On the 3rd of April 1993, Tom Worby, a 15 year old saboteur attending his first foxhunt protest, was crushed under the wheels of the Cambridgeshire FH's hound van in an incident all too reminiscent of the killing of Mike Hill two years before.

After a successful day's sabbing, the hunt had boxed up and sabs were making their way back to the meet down a narrow lane. As the hound van came up behind them, revving its engine, sabs scrambled for the roadside; however Tom's jacket became snagged in the vehicles wing mirror and he was dragged some distance before he managed to gain a foothold on the van's running board. Although he banged on the window the van kept going, and when Tom finally lost his grip, he fell onto the road and under the truck's wheels. His head was crushed by the rear wheels of the vehicle and he died shortly afterwards.

No action was taken against the driver of the hound van, 53-year-old huntsman ALAN BALL.

ANTI-BLOODSPORT GROUPS

Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA): Use non-violent direct action to prevent hunts killing foxes, hares or stags.
www.hsa.org.uk
Please click on the "Library" icon on their home page and then click on "violence" under the subject "hunt violence" to see the brutality these sabs have endured for years at the hands of the huntsmen-it will BLOW YOU AWAY.

Surrey Anti Hunt Campaign: Set up after a sab was nearly killed while sabbing a Surrey hunt, the SAHC use non violent direct action with the intention of closing down all hunts in the Surrey, Kent and Sussex area.
www.sahc.org.uk

Suffolk and Essex Sabs:"If the hunts are out...then so are we!"
www.se-sabs.org.uk

North West Hunt Sabs: www.nwhsa.org.uk


 http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?s
tory=562613
The Independent. 17 September 2004.
Ann Widdecombe: We have witnessed a triumph of democracy.
A practice is either cruel or it is not, and it if is,
then we should outlaw it

On Wednesday, the House of Commons brought Britain into
the 21st century, decreeing that no tally ho will defile
the countryside after July 2006. Predictably, those who
want to preserve the practice of chasing an animal running
in fear from a pack of baying hounds drawing ever closer
to it, for sport and amusement, whinge about their
"liberty" being trampled on. It is, they claim, the duty
of Parliament to protect the interests of minorities.
Being in a minority can not be an absolute defence to any
charge, and in this instance the charge is cruelty. What
matters is not whether a majority or a minority hunt but
whether it is cruel, and if so whether it is nonetheless a
necessary evil.

The Burns Commission found that hunting
compromises the welfare of the fox. It baffles me that we
needed all those learned gentlemen to engage in so much
earnest consultation to determine that very simple fact.
Causing fear to an animal is cruel, and causing prolonged
fear is wickedly cruel. Chasing an animal until it can no
longer outrun its pursuit and then letting it be set on by
a pack of dogs is scarcely the hallmark of civilisation,
but an argument could be made for tolerating such ungodly
conduct if there was no other way of controlling the fox
population. Yet Burns found that only six per cent of all
fox destruction is done by hunting which means that 94 per
cent is already done by other means. In other words
hunting is a most ineffective form of pesticide and there
is no utilitarian, let alone moral, argument for its
retention.

If we let minorities carry on with any sport regardless of
its ethicality, then we would never have banned bear
baiting, cockfighting or badger baiting. A practice is
either cruel or it is not, and if it is, then it should be
outlawed. There was much talk in the debate about affronts
to democracy. On the contrary, what we saw was a triumph
of democracy. A manifesto commitment was turned into law
by a large majority in the directly elected House, despite
a long, powerful and obstructive campaign against it.
The biggest affront to democracy was the violence of the
protesters in the square outside and the invasion of the
Chamber inside Parliament, which resulted in the public
gallery being cleared and remaining cleared for the rest
of the day. It is bad enough having a screen between us
and the people without the sort of antics which mean it is
not safe to have them there at all.

There was also the tired old argument about jobs being
lost. Yes, there will be some unemployment, although with
an 18-month delay most people will receive vastly more
notice than is normal when losing a living. However, even
if the numbers were much greater and the notice much less,
job losses do not constitute even a remote reason for
failing to implement a ban. If we abolished crime,
thousands of police would lose their jobs. If we abolished
ill-health, all the doctors and nurses would be out of a
job. Would anyone seriously propose that we keep crime and
illness just to keep people in work? If hunting is wrong,
then it cannot be maintained just to save jobs.
Future generations will probably look back in disbelief
that hunting should have survived into the 21st century.
Yet, depressingly, many of the supporters of this
so-called sport have claimed that the ban is part of a
class war. Opinion polls have consistently shown a
majority of the public in favour of outlawing hunting. Do
a majority of Britons wage a class war? Am I, who was
almost a lone voice crying in the wilderness for repealing
the removal of hereditary peers from the House of Lords,
waging a class war?

It is a sad state of affairs when Parliamentarians cannot
recognise that there is such a thing as honest conviction
on the part of those who disagree with them. Tony Banks,
who has led the campaign for the Labour side, fought a
huge battle on behalf of bears mistreated in China. Was he
waging a class war against the communist regime there?
Of course crude, conscienceless, politics did intrude. Mr
Blair saw to that by insisting on a delay of two years,
later reduced to 18 months, for implementation. I have no
doubt that the motive was to spare himself electoral
embarrassment and to leave him free to call an election
next spring without the papers being full of countryside
protest and harrowingly exaggerated accounts of hounds and
horses facing death in their tens of thousands. Or was it
to give himself another chance, delayed until after the
election, to fudge the issue yet again? After all, he has
played cynically with this measure for seven years.
Finally there was genuine concern that the Parliament Act
should be used, and to some extent I share the unease. Yet
the Act was designed for just this eventuality -- a large
majority in the elected House being thwarted by the
unelected House.

On Wednesday the elected House prevailed, and so did
decency and kindness and moral discernment.

Finally! 23.Sep.2004 10:16

BillyBong

It's about time . . . .

No less a personage than the nineteenth century English writer Ocar Wilde described fox hunting as

"The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible" . . . . . .