New proposals pursue permission to relax the fox-hunting ban
Ministers are pressing for the Hunting Act, which currently bans farmers from using more than two hounds to exterminate foxes, to be scrapped as farmers implore greater protection of their livelihood.
The Conservative Party, Liberal Democrats, Labour and Plaid Cymru are endorsing farmers and the movement to relax hunting ban laws. Environmental secretary Owen Paterson is being pressed to scrap the law limiting the number of hounds used to destroy foxes.
No comment has been made from him on the matter, though he has acknowledged the push for the bid.
Driving foxes from their den and shooting them with no more than two hounds in order to protect livestock is currently legalised. However, the rise in attacks on lambs has lead farmers to object that these regulations are not sufficient.
Hunting with a pack is argued not only to be more efficient, but also to be more humane. Foxes are supposedly spared the likelihood of a drawn-out ordeal with just two hounds. A pack means that foxes are driven straight into a shot gun, and so to a quick death. It’s also contended that hunting in a pack will reduce the use of snares, which have been continuously argued to be cruel.
However, the slackening of these laws is bound to ignite violent objection from animal rights activists, and is certain to reopen the severe conflict between pro-hunt groups and their protesters.
If the law were successfully scrapped it would mean the first alteration of one of the most controversial laws in the present day.
The change would also bring English and Welsh legislation in line with Scotland. However the push for the relaxation of these laws comes most untimely as outcry over the badger cull is still yet to subside.
Farmers who back these calls paint a picture of desperation as they claim the fight gets harder each year to prolong their livelihood due to oppressing regulations. Those who support the movement are quick to point out that it would neither cost the government nor the country any expense.
However, many argue that the Hunting Act that was fought so hard to be put into place works, and it would be a travesty to see it undermined.
It’s difficult to enforce any fair law that governs instinct and nature. Experts and politicians continue to debate whether a happy medium can be found between legitimate and effective farming and moral regulation of wildlife.