Home > Hunting Myths > Hunting Myths Pt 5: Hunting Conserves The Countryside

11th December 2018

Hunting Myths Pt 5: Hunting Conserves The Countryside

A hunt-free wildlife sanctuary in Dorset where a 'light touch' and minimal disturbance is enabling plants and animals to thrive.

OPINION: Zoologist Jordi Casamitjana writes exclusively for Hounds Off

It is claimed that hunts help to create a biodiverse ecosystem, but there has never been any evidence to support this claim. How can the use of a pack of hounds chasing wild animals to death followed by a group of riders trampling all over the countryside help biodiversity? Every time hunts remove the hunted animals from the ecosystem they are reducing its biodiversity. Every time they disrupt badger sets or block holes to prevent foxes to hide, they affect the survival rates of wildlife using these holes, reducing biodiversity. Every time they trespass with lots of hounds, horses and vehicles into Nature Reserves or Natural Parks they disturb wildlife which may decrease biodiversity.

Not to forget that hunting in any of its forms has historically contributed to the extinction of many of the animals that used to exist in the UK, such as Wild boar or the Eurasian bison. Every time otter hunters used to hunt otters they put this species closer to extinction, until the otters become legally protected (leading to the creation of Mink Hunts, which continue hunting illegally, both mink and otters). And hunts still hound hares today (even if is also illegal), the populations of which are considered threatened in the British Islands.

Man-made extinctions of local populations are considered the worst biodiversity “sins”, and the hunting/shooting fraternity, together with the animal agriculture industry, undoubtedly are the worst culprits.

The idea that hunting is responsible for farmers and landowners keeping some of their land as wild and natural as possible to allow the “quarry” to thrive before they are killed, falls completely on its face when it is used at the same time with the claim hunts are about lethal control of wildlife (now conveniently labelled “vermin”). And this claim is made even more ridiculous in the article by Mr. Barrington saying that the worse British ecological disasters had been the release of North American mink from fur farms, the outbreak of BT in Baronsdown and the overpopulation of badgers, somehow trying to vilify the animal protection movement implying they are responsible for this.

In actual fact it is very well-known that the American mink was already established in the wild in the UK many years before any animal rights activist released any from the fur farms, because the same fur farmers, possibly pro-hunt, had released them or let them escape. It is a very well-known fact that the Bovine TB outbreak in the deer population of Barnosdown (and any piece of land with deer in the West Country, by the way) was caused by the cattle farmers, most likely hunt supporters, which caused the disease in the first place (remember this is “bovine” TB, not “Deer” TB) and spread it all around the country. It is a very well-known fact that there is no evidence to support that there is an over-population of badgers in the UK and only those who support the current badger cull, many of them pro-hunt farmers and shooting states, have developed this deception, together with the falsehood that badgers are responsible of the BTb epidemic in cattle (which, again, was clearly caused by the destructive cattle industry, the undeniable number one cause of Global Warming, as report after report keeps confirming).

© Jordi Casamitjana
Zoologist

PREVIOUSLY

Hunting Myths Pt 1: The Snakeoil Salesman

Hunting Myths Pt 2: They Only Go For The Sick Old & Weak

Hunting Myths Pt 3: Hunting Is Efficient & Humane

Hunting Myths Pt 4: Hunting Is Natural

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  • Marta Falco says:
    Posted December 12, 2018 at 7:49 am

    People who love to hunt foxes, stags , spread a terrible climate of terror out into our countryside. There’s a book , Baileys, which shows the huge numbers of Hunts in this country These hunters have not one iota of respect for any of the animals they use to supply their sadistic entertainments. I have seen them abusing their horses routinely. The hounds are trained to kill foxes which they would not normally do. Hunts are extremely arrogant and it seems they mistakenly believe that they can behave, trample, terrify wherever they wish to.
    Foxes don’t need controlling as they do this themselves. Its now looking very likely that they spread bTB too. In the last few days there have been serious problems with hounds going onto main roads and hounds hav e been hit be cars and died. Hunts will need to be closed down because as our population rises and roads get busier. A question of time before there’s a horrific road accident with hounds, horses riders and cars involved and people possibly dying.
    Hunts do nothing to protect, or conserve our wildlife. The people who shoot are doing the same damage too. The woods are silent at at 73 yrs old I remember how much bird song I would hear in woods. With Natural England issuing licences to Pheasant Shoots to shoot buzzards in case a poult or two get predated.
    There’s a tragedy taking place in our countryside. Cruelty, pesticides, ignorance. And it was George Osborne who placed his mate Andrew Sells into Natural England, ( + issue licences to kill the hitherto protected badger), so again I see the hand of the elite and the Conservative party who’s hands are smeared with blood, who via their Countryside Alliance org tell lies. Its all they do do.anyone wanted to know foxes can read David Macdonalds book. Running With the Fox. They are innocents, in all of this depravity.

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  • Sally says:
    Posted December 13, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    … all mammals can get bovine TB. I have expperienced hounds (unauthorised) on my farm which have come from farms where there were current bovine TB breakdowns in their cattle – so hunting is actually likely to spread disease as well as all its negative impacts on bio diversity etc.

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