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Matthew Axon

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Is fox hunting ethically correct?

Before I begin I would like to tell you my point of view on this issue so that you will notice the bias when it appears: I am against it.

Here in the United Kingdom fox hunting continues to happen. Packs of dogs leading people riding horses continue to relentlessly hunt foxes. This, many hunters claim, is done for the "removal of a pest". Yet many people I know personally enjoy every moment of it! They say "if you're going to work why not make it fun" or something else along those lines. Some have even gotten upset with how I disagree with what I see as a violent murder instead of their view as an enjoyable sport.

In fox hunting a man will often go around the area before the beginning of the hunt and block up the foxes dens. Once the hunt starts the foxes will attempt to flee from the dogs by entering the nearest den they know of. These dens are, of course, closed. This forces the fox to continue fleeing from the pack of dogs at its heels. Should the fox find a burrow or den and manage to enter it then someone called a "terrier man" will attempt to flush out or dig out the fox.

Why do I find that cruel? One reason is because foxes are built for speed, not endurance. They will outrun the dogs for quite sometime before losing their energy and being descended upon by the pack. Another is because we are killing and animal that we consider a "pest" and yet is a natural part of the ecosystem here. Wolves were a "pest" in the United States and look at what happened to them, hunted to near extinction! Is it right to kill a fox because it's hungry and we're building on top of its den and putting farms around its home? Is it right to kill anything on such grounds?

What do you all think about this issue? You have heard my overly biased view and it is up for discussion.

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  • Nov 30 2011: As a sport, or for someones personal pleasure I'm against it. I don't feel it to be right to kill anything for entertainment. However, as mentioned prior, there could be situations where they are seen as pests and in such a case, I would think about some analysis on how it is affecting the environment and the people in the area.

    If there is a situation in where the population of foxes, or any other 'pest' is at a stage where it is harming other parts of the environment, I would think culling would help maintain the balance. As long as it's controlled and done in a less displeasing manner I'm fine with it.
    • Nov 30 2011: The problem here being that the foxes aren't harming the environment. The problem here, as I see it, is that the worst a fox has done is to go into a chicken coop and enjoy itself a free meal. Foxes have families too, as you are aware, and I am quite sure going to get food for said family is easier in a chicken coop than hunting one out in the wild.
      • Dec 3 2011: but you see, there is more of an effect than you realise. If the fox is killing chickens in farmers coops, then that has a damaging effect on the chickens, which in turn would affect the farmer, assuming he has no other main source of income. Now, if you think of this on a larger scale, if there are more foxes, it's safe to assume more coops would be raided. When this occurs, there will most likely be a growth in the fox population, thus causing more of an issue as foxes associate the coops as food sources.

        If you begin to look at the risk of keeping chickens then, I would assume farmers would either expect raised prices, as protecting chickens would come at a greater cost. Or worse still, not keep chickens, which would harm both foxes, and the agricultural industry.

        Personally, I'd much prefer to shell out an extra pound or two for better protection on chickens, but then that would cause quite a big issue in all the industries which use chicken or chicken based products.
        • Dec 4 2011: See, that's what I don't get. Why not spend a bit extra to protect the coop instead of killing living creatures? The world to me seems a bit backwards someimes.

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