17th May 2012
In respect of enforcing the Hunting Act, some recent good news; three members of the Crawley & Horsham Hunt were convicted of illegally hunting a wild mammal with dogs at Haywards Heath Magistrates Court earlier this week. This brings the number of successful prosecutions since hunting was banned in 2005 to approaching two hundred and proves yet again that enforcement can work. Well done to everyone in giving justice a chance; from monitors with video cameras to the police and law enforcement agencies.
Official figures show that, seven years on, the Hunting Act (2005) is the most successful piece of wildlife protection legislation to be introduced in recent times. It is curtailing the excesses of both registered Hunts and poacher-types across the countryside.
Nothing in life remains the same and this applies to the law as much as anything else. There is always an argument for updating the legal system as society grows and develops. The Hunting Act is no exception in this. Continued enforcement, coupled with future reinforcement, is the only sensible way forward.
In the meantime, Hounds Off is campaigning hard to make as much of the country Hunt-Free as possible by encouraging people like you to ban bloodsports where you live. Have a look at our website for details. Plump for the Hassle Free Option or Belt & Braces Approach, depending on your circumstance, and just follow the simple step-by-step instructions.
Remember that our power lies in our collective strength. Hounds Off is proud to reveal that over 500 English acres have been made Hunt-Free since our launch in September 2011. Much of this is in prime foxhunting country. We want the exclusion zone to increase and spread. Please take action and share our website with your family and friends.
Hounds Off really is the people’s campaign against hunting!
Posted by Joe Hashman
5th May 2012
Television pictures from Foxes Live: Wild In The City last week were emotional. This wasn’t a fluffy, rose-tinted account of urban foxes, but a technology-enabled warts-and-all glimpse into the harsh realities of life (and death) of wildlife in our midst. It was gripping stuff.
The mangy vixen who had her cubs under a shed in suburbia moved me the most. Despite her shockingly bald appearance, this darling of the wild world was raising three young ‘uns with true mothers’ commitment and selfless dedication. Then, within the space of 24 hours, things went badly wrong. Her cubs degenerated and died. We were not the only viewers I bet with lumps in our throats as hidden cameras revealed how she tried to coax them back to health and even, touchingly, guided a flagging cub onto her own swollen, milky nipple.
Tragic yes, but brilliant also. A secret world revealed to the nation (well, anyone who was watching at the time). Turns out that our mangy vixen is an auntie. When her babies died she turned her attentions to helping raise another, healthy, litter to which she’s related. According to the experts this is quite normal in fox society. It’s just one of the ways that they’ve evolved to survive in a world where, despite the odds being stacked against them, foxes continue to thrive.
What unfolds remains unknown. I switch off nature programmes where kit and presenters become too high profile but anticipate that the foxes will remain centre stage. Good. We need an antidote to the cynical lies and propaganda which pass as science from the hunting brigade. As an aid to opening eyes, hearts and minds, Foxes Live: Wild In The City has got genuine potential. To catch the action tune in to Channel 4 this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 8pm or log in to the fully interactive website, http://foxes.channel4.com/foxes
Posted by Joe Hashman