Two years after the Scottish ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs, and I’m glad to report that, not only has hunting continued: it has also improved.
Two of the more absurd and contradictory claims of the pro-hunting lobby were, first, that hunting foxes with dogs was a matter of pest control and secondly, that hunting was “sporting” because only the weak and sick were killed by dogs, while healthy foxes were allowed to escape to live (and breed and rip chickens to pieces) another day.
Under the new improved Scottish system, that absurdity has come to an end. The majority of the foxes are shot. Some are unfortuately still caught by dogs; but the fewer dogs are used, the greater chance that the foxes will be shot first. In England and Wales, where no more than two dogs – a quite adequate number, in my view – may be used to flush out vermin, we can expect hunting to become even more efficient.
Now, if only somebody would do something about those manky, shabby, parvovirus carrying urban foxes which keep trashing my dustbin.
Pangloss directs us to a snapshot of the future of fox hunting: