I am appalled, if not surprised, that MP and DEFRA minister Elizabeth Truss is in favour of rescinding the ban on hunting with dogs.
She has, after all, sanctioned the resumption of the badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire in spite of compelling independent evidence that vaccinnation and imporoved bio-security in cattle are the way forward.
As far as hunting with dogs is concerned, it is beyond belief that a ban on such a barbaric activity could be removed from the statute books. Those who participated did so largely for “sport” and enjoyment and not for the purpose of pest control.
In any event, evidence indicates that damage caused by foxes is insignificant and as the Burns Inquiry – set up to investigate the impact of hunting – concluded, “this experience seriously compromises the welfare of the fox”.
Indeed, foxes endured both long, exhausting chases and the terror and pain of being savaged to death, usually by disembowelment.
Those who escaped often died from trauma or were attacked by terriermen’s dogs.
Does Ms Truss really believe it is acceptable to inflict such suffering and death on these animals in order to placate a self-interested minority? If so, the future of wild animal protection looks very bleak indeed under her ministry.