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Posts archive for November, 2012

27th November 2012

Selfless Actions In Defence Of Animals

Hounds Off extends total respect to the Hunt Monitors who were out with the Old Berkshire Hunt on 14 November and stepped in to rescue a fox.

In this act alone they did a most wonderful thing, but to capture the episode on film was just amazing. By showing the reality of hunting they have done wildlife protection a great service.

You should watch the footage here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkY7w8u6uEw

Notice how the gallant little fox tries to defend itself when initially mobbed by hounds. Keep watching. The second camera angle shows the fox rolled onto its back. If it wasn’t for the quick thinking Monitor then an unpleasant death by disembowelment was likely to be next.

The tally-ho brigade frequently gloss over their destruction of foxes. Instead of killing it’s ‘being dealt with’ or ‘accounted for’. Another euphemism is ‘rolled over’ and that, evidently, is closer to the truth than we might have realised.

This sort of thing is a minor miracle but not completely unheard of. There was Copper the fox, rescued by hunt sabs and police (!) in Sussex during the 1990’s.

And last year, just after 4pm on Boxing Day to be precise, a driver abandoned his vehicle at the side of the A30 in Devon to help a hunted fox just as it sank under the mass of biting dogs. He literally threw himself on the fox to protect it with his body like a shield. Sadly, the fox died later, despite the defender (and landowner, who ordered the huntsman to get his hounds off) trying to nurse the fatally wounded wild dog.

As it happens, an anonymous friend organised and paid for a vet to do an autopsy and provide us with a cause of death. It was, quote, “trauma and shock and likely pneumothorax [collapsed lung] following bite wounds.” There were puncture and bite wounds, protruding guts, damaged spleen, severe bruising and blood loss.

If you’re wondering, the Hunt involved claimed they were operating legally and escaped prosecution. If the latest alleged wildlife crime, candidly caught on camera, gets excused it’d provide a vivid example of why the Hunting Act should be amended to include the word “intent” and thus make it a whole lot stronger.

Posted by Joe Hashman

Photo Copyright © Colin Varndell

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17th November 2012

Don’t Be Fooled By Hunters Latest Scam

The latest pro hunting wheeze is to get primary schools to ‘adopt a hound’. Cynically timed to coincide with the Opening Meets of many UK fox hunts, it’s the latest attempt by the tally-ho brigade to normalize their preferred form of animal abuse.

Such a confidence trick is to be expected. The tally-ho brigade know that their cover for hunting wild animals with dogs can only survive if a new generation is continually blooded into the sport.

Engaging school age kids is an obvious tactic. Plus it looks good because, unless you’re a fox, hounds really are lovely.

I followed a Dorset hunt twice last season in my van, openly and without any intention of interfering. The verbal abuse and threatening behaviour which my passengers and I suffered was considerable and anti-social. Of coarse, the police were informed.

It was clear that the hunt in question was not prepared to tolerate being observed by us because they knew we were ‘anti’. Maybe they were shy because, in my opinion, they were hunting live foxes and thus breaking the law?

I wonder if children, unfamiliar with the horrors of foxhunting, will be shown the cruel and illegal practices which have been legislated against? Or will they, more likely, be introduced only to the pomp and ceremony, the pageantry and colour, the glossy façade, being gradually ‘broken in’ until it’s deemed okay to reveal the shocking truths of chasing live foxes with dog packs and baiting them with terriers? Perhaps, like many hunt followers, they’ll rarely if ever witness the end bit.

Although a little over school age now, later this winter I might ‘adopt’ hounds from my local hunt and follow them for a day, or two, again. The question is whether I’ll be made as welcome as those of an impressionable age who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the realities and ripe for absorbing pro-hunting propaganda?

Posted by Joe Hashman

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