Just another thought. Hunting is a natural method of death.
Would you like to legislate to prevent a pride of African lions from hunting gazelles and pulling them down and killing them?
A fox is a natural quarry species; it is able to run fast and strong for a long distance. It is as natural for it to be chased as it is for it to chase a rabbit. It is not being subjected to anything that it wasn't designed to do.
I don't ask you to come hunting; I don't ask you to enjoy it. I don't even ask you to approve of it, all I ask is that you tolerate it, and in this world tolerance is a sadly lacking commodity.
Of course hunting is cruel. An animal being chased by a pack of hounds and then caught and mauled to death is, by definition, cruel. If you don't think so, then consider whether you would mind your pet dog (or cat) being killed that way? I think not.
As for the report saying it's not cruel, again, I think that is disingenuous. I think you will find plenty of reports from the states from a couple of hundred years ago saying that slavery was not cruel. Or from Germany in the last war saying it was okay to kill Jews because they were sub-human. Basically, the pro-hunt argument is that it is okay to be cruel to foxes because they are pests (oh, and it's not cruel really. Honest.) If dogs were treated that way the RSPCA and most compassionate people would be up in arms.
It is a far wider reaching issue. Too many people are becoming too emotive about subjects they have no understanding about. Its all about balance, tolerance and respect of peoples different opinions/pursuits.
Did you know the fox has no natural predator? Have any of you seen what large carrion crows/foxes do to young livestock? Foxes kill for fun/large Crows attack young lambs and ewes in labour - pecking their eyes out. Its a distressing sight often seen in the countryside by country people - wouldn't you want to do something about it?
What about people who own dogs/cats who live in too small sized flats, zoo animals, birds kept in cages, domestic cats who catch their prey, play with it then leave it to die slowly.
I've seen more foxes in my garden and SE1 parks than in the countryside - and look how they're now becoming a city pest. There is a family of rats in Potters Fields park - happily living off the rubbish thrown on the floor by the park cleaners when they empty the bins! The Pidgeons (vermin) get fed too - place is covered in pidgeon poo - yuk!
I love animals, but I also don't sentimentalise the role animals play in this world and understand fully when our European neighbours mock us and say care more about animals than children.
I was also raised in the countryside. I have worked in pig abatoirs and chicken farms... I've had my fair share of country-side living. What makes people think that just because I live in London now, I don't have an idea about what goes on in the countryside.
On the concern for political presentation however, that you choose you local MP more carefully.
My respects Jai - you are one of the few enlightened in the city who has first hand experience of what they are talking about and can defend the position from a knowledgeble point of view.
Choosing a local MP - I do choose carefully but democracy dictates the result based on number of votes. I also hope my London MP is representing the interests of his/her constituency when it comes down to area related issues such as poor housing/crime/rubbish/vandalism etc.
They should stop wasting valuable tax payers money and keep their noses out of discussions/debates about which they know nothing about and do what they are paid to do which is represent and fight for their constituency on issues and problems related to their immediate environment only.
Miss Jo Jo wrote '[Is it cruel?] If you don't think so, then consider whether you would mind your pet dog (or cat) being killed that way? I think not.'
Hang on... just because you wouldn't WANT your pet to be chased and killed by another animal doesn't mean that it would automatically be CRUEL. It may be an unpleasant prospect; it is likely that you wouldn't want your pet to die by lethal injection, either, but that again does not make it cruel.
Anthropomorphization of the fox means that you think that 'I wouldn't want to be chased/killed by a pack of foxhounds' therefore the fox wouldn't want to be killed (because a fox is a cute animal like a teddy bear) and therefore it is cruel. With all respect, i do not believe that this is a logical conclusion to reach.
The Burns report referred to earlier was commissioned by the Socialist Government we have. The Government should look at its own research and decide to leave well alone and deal with the important things like the NHS, Tube, Doctors, Schools etc.
I see this as a moral issue, rather than a practical one. Fox hunting is being banned because it is morally wrong for people to get pleasure or entertainment from killing a wild mammal. If people really want to have a good hack, there is no need to chase a fox to do it.
We got rid of bear baiting (a Southewark favourite) and public executions long ago. It is a failure of our "democracy" that fox hunting did not go also, but it was a pleasure of the rich and powerful rather than the masses.
Getting rid of foxhunting, like getting rid of the house of lords, is part of modernising this country and finally getting rid of the last relics of feudalism.
That the rural lords and gentry have got this march arranged reflects their political ability and continuing power.
People in SE1 would be far better off going to one of the Open House buildings.