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MY ATTITUDE TO FOX HUNTING AND OTHER ACTS OF WILD ANIMAL CRUELTY.
Posted Over 3 weeks ago

I am totally opposed to the killing of foxes and other wildlife by hunts and their hounds. Paradoxically I have a background of field sports participation which I will outline.

For 2 years from 1976 I was a gamekeeper and therefore by definition I was responsible for killing, with trap and gun, quantities of wildlife. Some years later, about 1999/2000 my wife bought for me 2 whippet puppies. That lead to my becoming a member of east anglia whippet coursing club and I coursed my dogs for 3 or 4 seasons. In fact, until the abolition of hunting and hare coursing brought about by hunting act 2004. During my coursing time I was an active opponent of the proposed legislation, attending various demonstrations, notably the ones held in parliament square and the brighton labour party conference. I also wrote letters to the countrymans weekly and other titles giving my point of view. I also wrote at least 2 articles for the countrymans weekly. Can't remember in detail what they were about but were probably on the hunting theme.

That is my history.

In recent times I have displayed on this website galleries of photographs featuring dogs and horses. Virtually all of what I photograph covers these catagories. There are some galleries where I have photographed hounds and hunts at meets. I like the pictures that the hounds and the riders create as they assemble and lead off. It is what the hunts get up to when they are away from the public eye that I cannot come to terms with. Having said that, I have no evidence of cruel acts because I only photographed them in their public gatherings. I am aware from others and have seen video footage by animal protection organisations that clearly show hares and foxes, even deer being chased. Footage showing foxes being dug by so called terriermen arriving on quad bikes with spades. Foxes being bolted from their hiding holes after digging to be chased by the waiting hounds. Their is hard evidence of hunt staff dropping litters of fox cubs into hunt kennels to be killed by the hounds to keep them focused. How sick is that? The list is longer than I have highlighted here.

One of the problems with the hunting act is that it is difficult to police and to gather evidence of cruelty. I think it is also fair to say that some police forces are less than willing or lack the resources to take action against hunts.

I no longer photograph hunts. I am committed to highlighting acts of cruelty and supporting animal lovers to bring an end to cruelty to foxes and others. If a means could be found to guarantee wild animal safety and for hunts to continue a legal form of hunting then that might be acceptable to many. To achieve that, the hunting act will need to be revisited by our politicans to close various loopholes that the emboldened hunt personnel have managed to take advantage of. If a means to accommodate both sides cannot be found then I want to see hunting banned. The needs of our wildlife must be met.

 

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