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Countryside war of words continues as hunting season starts

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 27, 2012

The Countryside Alliance says the Hunting Act made it impossible for farmers to control foxes to safeguard livestock

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As the hunting season gets under way across the Westcountry battle-lines have once again been drawn between warring sides.

Seven years after the battle over fox hunting pitted rural communities against their urban neighbours the arguments still rage.

Today The Countryside Alliance branded the Hunting Act "an attack on rural people" insisting it had "failed spectacularly" to improve animal welfare."

Meanwhile, the League Against Cruel Sports said despite the ban, not all hunts used the legal methods of train and drag and thousands of wild animals were still being chased and killed by "criminals and thugs".

Opening meets mark the beginning of the official hunting season with most hunts holding them in the last week of October and the first week of November.

Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance said the Hunting Act made it impossible for farmers to control foxes to safeguard their livestock.

He said: "It is quite clear that as well as the immense difficulties the law has brought for hunts, the police and in some cases the courts, it has had no benefit for the quarry species.

"In some areas alternative management methods have seriously reduced the fox population, whilst in the uplands the Hunting Act makes it nearly impossible for farmers to control numbers and protect their livestock.

"The Hunting Act was an attack on rural people rather than an attempt to improve animal welfare which is why it has failed so spectacularly.

"We continue to campaign for a resolution to the hunting debate based on evidence and principle, not prejudice and political point-scoring".

Mr White-Spunner's comments came as the Alliance released findings from a survey of 123 hunts across the country.

He said: "It is immensely encouraging that seven years on from the ban, hunts are in good heart.

Joe Duckworth, chief executive at the League Against Cruel Sports, said the organisation had launched a £1 million strategy to tackle illegal hunting and other wildlife crime.

He said: "These criminals are not just breaking the law, they are behaving like thugs with no regard for wildlife or those living in rural communities.

"Members of the public call to tell us of the havoc that hunts bring with them.

"The hounds riot through private gardens, trespass on railway lines, and even kill family cats and dogs.

"When people try to stop them or ask what they're up to, they often face verbal or physical abuse and even intimidation.

"Hunting animals with dogs for sport is cruel, unnecessary and illegal."

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  • twain1  |  October 29 2012, 11:21PM

    Macaques know what animal abuse is and choose to starve rather than inflict pain on another animal perhaps proving their superior intelligence over the hunting fraternity? The voice of the supremacists (usually from the shallow end of the gene pool) love to deprecate that which they consider 'below' themselves. Mistakenly, that is often animals, the defenceless with no voice the life or death of which many consider to be of no consequence. If any hunter wants to argue sensibly bring it on; us parrots will defend the defenceless, but you don't have a leg to stand on do you?

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  • Jungle_Jim  |  October 29 2012, 8:36PM

    TheTakemon2 The ability to talk, or write are no evidence of intelligence - just read some of the comments on this site - just as the inability to do either is not evidence of a lack of intelligence. Parrots are not very intelligent, but are very good at repeating what others have said.

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  • twain1  |  October 29 2012, 8:05PM

    TheTakemon2 I suspect you are the least qualified to talk of intelligence but at least it's gratifying that you know what a macaque is. '' Monkeys play not (sic) part in hunting''...Are you sure about that?

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  • Charlespk  |  October 29 2012, 2:43PM

    Toff! . . Did that poster say Toff? That's where all the ignorance is. . You have to laugh at these nonentities. http://tinyurl.com/6l4lzhz

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  • Charlespk  |  October 29 2012, 2:30PM

    But they are cunning varmits TheTakemon2!! http://tinyurl.com/6fp4hp3 (open in a new window)

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  • TheTakemon2  |  October 29 2012, 2:13PM

    twain1 - Proving what point? You seemed to be very confused as your on about Macaques which is a type of monkey. Monkeys play not part in hunting. Someone needs to break this to you but those cartoons on TV with talking foxes and animal are not factual programs. Foxes cant talk and are not intelligent!

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  • APExeter  |  October 29 2012, 2:07PM

    No twain1- I suspect he is not a member of the CA- but he is an example of the type of cold blood and ignorance you have to have to enjoy this kind of thing. He just lacks the intelligence to hide it and express it in a more seemingly palatable manner ala your typical hunt toff... this is what intelligent people should read between the lines whenever you read the CA propaganda

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  • twain1  |  October 29 2012, 1:07PM

    ''So what a fox is killed how is that even important?" by TheTakemon2 You must be a member of C.A. Thanks for proving my point.

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  • TheTakemon2  |  October 28 2012, 10:21PM

    The problem is people treat animals too much like humans and don't seem to understand that they are nothing like us. They want a world where people are aresseted for swearing and all violence on tv is banned. You people are so boring and I would not like to live in a world with your weird beliefs. So what a fox is killed how is that even important?

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  • youngcornwall  |  October 28 2012, 8:04PM

    St Just Feast will be held on Monday 5th of November when the turnout again should be something to remember Clay pigeon shooting is put on for all to enjoy revived from the days when I was but a boy Many a poor Fox have never lived to see the day when the stirrup cup has been emptied sending riders on their way. Tradition they say we must never let it die tallyho my ansum for the fox it is too late to cry. yc

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