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Hunting Enquiry Report
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Re: Hunting Enquiry Report
Jun 13, 2000, 19:47
And another bit:
54 The three main aspects of foxhunting which give rise to concern on welfare
grounds are: the chase; the "kill" by the hounds above ground; and digging-out/
55 There is a lack of scientific evidence about the welfare implications of hunting,
although some post mortem reports have been received. The welfare implications of
hunting need to be compared with those which arise from other methods such as
shooting, and snaring.
56 The evidence which we have seen suggests that, in the case of the killing of a
fox by hounds above ground, death is not always effected by a single bite to the neck
or shoulders by the leading hound resulting in the dislocation of the cervical
vertebrae. In a proportion of cases it results from massive injuries to the chest and
vital organs, although insensibility and death will normally follow within a matter of
seconds once the fox is caught. There is a lack of firm scientific evidence about the
effect on the welfare of a fox of being closely pursued, caught and killed above
ground by hounds. We are satisfied, nevertheless, that this experience seriously
compromises the welfare of the fox. (Paragraph 6.49)
57 Although there is no firm scientific evidence, we are satisfied that the activity
of digging out and shooting a fox involves a serious compromise of its welfare,
bearing in mind the often protracted nature of the process and the fact that the fox
is prevented from escaping. (Paragraph 6.52)
58 It is likely that, in the event of a ban on hunting, many farmers and
landowners would resort to a greater degree than at present to other methods to
control the numbers of foxes. We cannot say if this would lead to more, or fewer,
foxes being killed than at present. (Paragraph 6.58)
59 None of the legal methods of fox control is without difficulty from an animal
welfare perspective. Both snaring and shooting can have serious adverse welfare
implications. (Paragraph 6.59)
60 Our tentative conclusion is that lamping using rifles, if carried out properly
and in appropriate circumstances, has fewer adverse welfare implications than hunting, including digging-out. However, in areas where lamping is not feasible or
safe, there would be a greater use of other methods. We are less confident that the
use of shotguns, particularly in daylight, is preferable to hunting from a welfare
perspective. We consider that the use of snaring is a particular cause for concern.
(Paragraph 6.60)
61 In practice, it is likely that some mixture of all of these methods would be
used. In the event of a ban on hunting, it is possible that the welfare of foxes in
upland areas could be affected adversely, unless dogs could be used, at least to flush
foxes from cover. (Paragraph 6.61)

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