Ungagged: As we are saying

Image by Rachel Coldbreath

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to do a quick piece for @_Ungagged. I hadn’t got anything in particular at the time – apart from the standard level of disdain for the Tory party – but then May started talking about a free vote on fox-hunting.

I had written a piece for Any Voice almost 2 years ago on the proposal at that time to revoke the Hunting Act and the subsequent threat from the SNP to break their tradition of abstaining from English-only issues in order to stand against this cruel and barbaric practice.

So a quick update felt right; the full podcast can be heard here. As always it is worth a listen because there are sensible people in it as well as me.


Yet again the same old (portly, gout-ridden) faces are talking about repealing the 2004 Hunting Act. A free vote was promised in the Conservative 2015 manifesto and their hubris over what they see as an overwhelming win in the next election has got them all stirred up again.

Weird how it’s only the harmful promises they manage to keep like that bloody stupid EU referendum and not for example “We will ease pressure on public services and your local community” or even “Every school needs high standards, proper funding and accountability.”

Anyway when asked about it Theresa May replied that she is “personally in favour of fox hunting.”

Of course she will be, how else would you relax after a hard week as Home Secretary deporting people other than by watching a living creature being run to exhaustion and then being ripped apart by dogs.

Hunting is cruel, if working class people took part it would be condemned. Hare coursing was banned at the same time but I don’t see that being mourned by the blood-thirsty inbreds and wannabies.

Hunts are not a gathering of people on horseback with hounds who just happen to find a fox. Work starts well before the Meet. An area known to have foxes will have been selected and escape routes such as fox earths, badger setts etc. will be blocked.

At the start of the hunt the area will be surrounded by hunters on horseback while hounds are sent in to “flush out” the fox. Once spotted hunters will call out so the chase can begin. Hounds are slower than foxes but can run for longer – it prolongs the chase – until eventually the fox will be run out, surrounded by hounds then ripped apart.

This is not a activity for animal lovers.

The dogs themselves are not treated well. Dogs are literally “whipped off” if they chase the wrong prey and god help any cat or dog that is unlucky enough to be caught.The hounds are shot once they are seen as no longer being productive (6-7 years old) and week old puppies killed if considered not strong enough. The Countryside Alliance estimates 3,000 hounds are killed every year. Retired greyhounds can be re-homed, retired fox hounds not.

As for being pest control. Really? It requires a pack of dogs and a group of riders in fancy dress to kill one fox? I’ve never seen rat catchers make that kind of effort.

Before the ban about 25,000 foxes were killed a year which is approximately 10% of the UK’s 240,000 fox population. Basically they were thinning the herd.

A hunt has very little effect on the local fox population. Foxes are territorial and if one fox is killed another will soon move into the vacated area. It is their food supply that regulates their population and it appears that there is no evidence of an increase in fox numbers since the ban came into force.

As for the pest title, 90% of agricultural land is used for crops, beef and dairy farming. By keeping rabbit and rat populations down the fox is an asset to the majority of farmers. There is predation by foxes but The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) reports that according to farmers only 1% of lamb losses reported are due to fox predation.  It is poor animal husbandry that is the major cause of lamb and ewe death.

Well known hunt enthusiast Cameron tried 2 years ago to revoke the Act but the proposal never made it to vote due a lack of support from all parties. There is even a Conservatives Against Fox Hunting group who have pointed out that a repeal is not an issue amongst voters and that the next parliament will have enough work to do with Brexit without wasting further time on this issue.

The last annual Ipsos MORI poll on the subject showed an all time high of 84% of people in support of the ban. And  when using Office for National Statistics (ONS) data identify where participants lived, it was found that in rural areas (where support for hunting is expected to be greater) 82 per cent of people oppose fox-hunting. This is not a town vs country issue.

Wilde described hunting as “the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible!” This is a cruel and unacceptable as cock-fighting, bull-baiting and dog-fighting.

If they must dress up and sip sherry before galloping cross the fields – fine. However this is the 21st century not the 18th and I think that some need reminding of this.

I’ve done my mini rant on this and signed a couple of petitions, and now I get to the point. Why, when this is such an unpopular position have the Tories & press run with it? It’s not like Theresa answers any questions without prior knowledge.

It’s a smoke screen, like boy jobs and girls jobs.

There’s so much shite out there that they are using this distraction. They’d much rather people talked about it than the CPA letting them get away with buying the last election. Or the upcoming shitstorm of Brexit. Or the way May is protected by the media. Or that nurses and police using foodbanks. Or that pensions are going to get cut, or the disabled are going to be hammered again. Or that IDS is a sociopathic wanker – low value people. Jesus. And he’s another so-called Christian.

So we make our point, and then get back to protesting every other bloody thing they are doing. And most importantly get people to vote this bastards out.

A few links if you want to campaign:

As Parliament is in recess all petitions to the Commons have been archived and no new ones can be set up until after the election.






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