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The Hunt for Justice Nears an End
I have been working on the hunting campaign for many years now. I was always against it but after working in Dulverton for a year I have also seen it at first hand in many ways and also spoken to numerous people about it. I had some very nerve- wracking moments on Question Time and the Jonathan Dimbleby programme and have attended numerous meetings to help with the cause.
After what seems like a lifetime the ban has finally gone through. It seems madness that the Lords have managed to scupper it so many times as it is but at least the Parliament Act has now brought about the right finale to the fight.
There really is no argument for hunting with dogs and it accounts for a staggeringly small percentage of foxes and deer killed annually anyway. The argument for pest control has quite clearly been blown out of the water on many occasions when so many hunts have been caught feeding, breeding and providing artificial earths for foxes to encourage an increase in numbers. It is totally ludicrous to then try and convince anyone with an ounce of common sense that hunting is necessary for control.
The point is that if you wish to ride out you still can. If you wish to take a large number of dogs with you, you still can. If you want to follow a scent without knowing where you will end up you still can. The only thing we would rather you didn’t do is chase and kill an animal at the end of it for no other reason than you enjoy it. After all this time with arguments falling apart around the hunters I would have appreciated it if someone had just been honest about it. I would have a lot more respect for the people in question if they would just admit that they enjoy it. We all know that’s the reason so why try to falsify things by pretending that it is done for a higher purpose? If there was no enjoyment in it there would not be so much pomp and ceremony surrounding it. If it was a chore of a job people would grumble about having to do it. They wouldn’t dress in finery and celebrate it with annual balls and celebrations. I doubt if bona fide pest- control officers jump out of bed in the morning and think, ‘Spiffing! I can kill some mice today.’
We as a nation pride ourselves on being animal lovers and leading the world in matters of animal welfare. The practice of hunting has constantly been a complete double standard on our part and an easy retaliation for nations that we berate over practices of theirs that we do not like. Only the other day I read an article in the Independent about fishermen catching and killing dolphins for meat. Their response to us? ‘Don’t tell us we have no right to kill them when you still have hunting in your country’. We can’t argue with that. Except now maybe we can start to. Now we have come to our senses we can once again be proud to call ourselves an animal- loving nation that is well and truly in the 21st Century when it comes to such matters.
Well done to all those who have done a lot more than me to make it happen, especially the likes of the hunt monitors I spent time with that have put up with immeasurable abuse from the minority that think they can do whatever they like because they have been allowed to thus far. That time is at an end.