Monday, March 09, 2009

Tally Ho Again

A topic that crops up on this blog from time to time is my support for country sports in general, and foxhunting in particular. Some of my readers disagree, and have been known to express it in forceful terms. In general, their disagreement has its roots in a genuine love for wildlife, so I accept it as fair enough. But what Simon Heffer (supposedly a hunting supporter) wrote in last Friday's Telegraph is not fair enough - and would have appalled most hunt supporters. With friends like that, who needs enemies....

Simon wrote "Foxes of course should be hunted, and those in areas where hunting is impractical, should be shot, poisoned and gassed to the point of extinction". His article refers to foxes as "vermin" and "filthy, disease-ridden, destructive scavengers which are no better than outsize rats". Rarely have I read anything with which I disagree more.

The Red Fox is a vicious, cunning and very beautiful predator, which kills for both food and fun - nature at its most brutal. Most of us only see the fox as it flashes across the road in front of the car. (I don't count the mangy scraggy creatures that live on scraps in our towns). I'm lucky enough to occasionally see a fox sneaking around our garden in the early morning looking for an opportunity to kill one of our Canadas - instigating panic amongst the Geese, and a sense of excitement and wonder in me. I recall speaking emotionally in a National Assembly debate about there being "nothing as evocative as the scream of an aroused vixen on a still winter's night.....". Some of the lady members started to look quite flushed. Almost no supporter of country sports thinks along Simon Heffer lines on this issue. Packs on horseback enjoy the chase, and catch the odd fox, but aren't fussed if they all escape. No foxes equals no fun. The gun packs are more into controlling numbers - to protect livestock. But there's an element of 'sport' in this as well - and they would always want a healthy fox population. I've never hunted with dogs in my life, never will, and I love the Red Fox. Hunting with dogs is the best way to ensure that future generations will be able to write in similar fashion on their blogs.


Anonymous said...

So with your love of foxes apparent why don't we advocate the hunting of equally predatorary creatures, cunning and sly, such as the often-spotted Mid Wales Libdemicus et Conservatorius politician?

Glyn Davies said...

This fox fights back though