“This is the future of Hunting! No Cruelty, no Lies, no Kill ”

This Boxing Day, hunts will gather to parade in villages across England and Wales for the traditional Boxing Day meet. But this year there will be a new atmosphere - a wind of change.

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Fox hunting is the use of dogs under human control to locate, chase and kill foxes. The hunters can be on horseback or on foot. The dogs are specialist scent hounds trained to detect and follow the musty scent of the red fox. A typical fox hound pack contains 30-40 dogs and they are generally accompanied by dozens of hunters who take on various roles.

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From King Canute to David Cameron, hunting has taken place worldwide for hundreds of years. It's purpose was to provide food and protect livestock. The practice of using dogs with a keen sense of smell to track prey has been traced back to ancient Egypt and many Greek and Roman influenced countries. 

It is believed that the custom for a fox to be tracked, chased and often killed by trained hunting hounds, known as "scent hounds", and followed by the Master

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Fascinating facts about the Red Fox 

Few native species divide opinion as deeply as the red fox. Despite being voted the third most popular British mammal in a recent BBC Wildlife survey, foxes still face widespread demonisation and persecution. A better understanding of fox ecology and behaviour – and the essential ecological role they play – can help dispel the myths and misconceptions about this iconic British species.

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Are Foxes Dangerous?

Our intelligence can often be measured by our reactions. Knee jerk reactions are not good reactions.

It is extremely rare for a wild animal to bite and this is usually only when corned or trapped, Most wildlife has learnt to keep hidden. Humans are the biggest threat to wildlife and not the other way round. Foxes are rarely aggressive and would always choose to flee human contact.

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The Government has been defeated over the repeal of The Hunting Act. David Cameron is licking his wounds after the humiliated, Tory Premier was forced to retreat on fox hunting when it became clear his sneaky plans to revive the bloodsport would be savaged by his own MP’s. The PM had arrogantly defended his “mates” right to hunt but he is barking up the wrong tree if he thinks he'll get his way by banning Scottish MPs from voting on hunting in England and Wales.

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THERE IS NO EXCUSE for the continuation of fox hunting. The only argument for it that you can believe is sincere, from its supporters, is that they enjoy it. But they will put up all kinds of smoke screens – essentially bogus defences. This fox lovers' guide provides definitive answers to the hunters lame claims.

This is a fox lovers’ handbook designed to answer the lame claims of hunters who believe it’s acceptable to torture foxes to death. 

Fourteen of the hunt supporters’ best shots detailed here, along with the answers which expose them as false.

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That this House agrees with Simon Hart, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, that his organisation would be ridiculed in parliament on the publication of a letter sent by the Masters of Fox Hounds Association to 800 hunt masters warning of the nationwide 'shortage of foxes' and urging landowners to breed more foxes to 'solve the problem'; and welcomes this further evidence that foxhunting is unconnected with pest control but is devoted entirely to sadistic pleasure derived from the protracted torment and death of foxes

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DEFRA study says  'Not significant'.  Are foxes a significant predator of livestock? The importance of fox predation on lambs is fiercely debated because it is very difficult to determine whether a lamb was killed by a fox or whether the fox was merely acting as a scavenger on an already dead animal. Paragraph 5.14 of the Burns Report estimates that less than 2% of otherwise viable lambs are killed by foxes in England and Wales. On the basis of current evidence, the Government does not consider foxes to be a significant factor in lamb mortality nationally (see The Burns Report, paragraph 5.12). However, it does recognise 

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Trail hunting did not exist before the Hunting Act 2004. When the Act came into force, the Masters of the Draghounds and Bloodhounds Association (MDBA) were particularly concerned that illegal live quarry hunting, under the guise of following an artificially laid scent, would have a detrimental effect on the sport of drag hunting. To prevent their sport being brought into disrepute, the MDBA insisted that the term 'drag hunting' should remain their exclusive property. As a consequence, the term 'trail hunting' was invented.

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Team Fox is a coalition of animals groups united to keep the hunting ban in place. Fox hunting is not a ‘tradition’ that needs to be protected  

The humane sport of drag hunting, in which the hunt follows an artificial trail, has all the tradition without any of the cruelty. Nevertheless, traditions are measured in more than years. They have to reflect the values and attitudes of a society and the vast majority of the British people today oppose hunting with dogs. To bring back fox hunting is to bring back cruelty.

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Hare are hunted with packs of hounds, beagles and bassets (also referred to as ‘beagling’, where the hounds are followed on foot) and by harriers (followed on horseback). These hounds were bred, not for the speed but for the stamina that guaranteed the lengthy chase the hunters sought.

The hare is not a native species to the UK and was introduced by the Romans. During the late 1800s, there were about four million brown hare in Britain. But recent surveys show the brown hare has declined by more than 80% during the past 100 years and the decline is ongoing. In some parts of Britain, such as the south-west, the brown hare is almost a rarity and may even be locally extinct. 

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Early in the morning a Hunt of mounted riders quietly surround a thicket they know to contain a family of foxes. The female fox or vixen hears the movement but will not leave her cover as she has cubs to protect. The huntsmen surround the thicket, they slap their saddles, hollar and shout to prevent the fox and her cubs leaving the thicket. They want to have their fun. 

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Between April and October, another form of hunting with hounds is carried out illegally: mink hunting. Carried out on foot along river banks, mink hunts are the remnants of otter hunts, which stopped after otters became a protected species.

There are 17 hunts and over 20 unregistered packs. They have between 12 & 16 hounds hunting - a mix of otterhounds, foxhounds and others. Besides hunting mink, that will kill anything they come across, and there's concern that they'll kill otters if they come across them. 

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