Hunting Is Neither 'Prompt Nor Humane'


COLIN Richey Letters, January 7, says in his letter that he hopes the Hunting Act will be repealed "not because I agree with cruelty to animals, because I don't..." Well make up your mind Colin, because you can't have it both ways — if you did not condone cruelty to animals, you certainly wouldn't approve of hunting. I am fascinated to know how, as a journalist covering hunts in Mid Devon, Colin Richey can testify, with a straight face, that most animals were "dispatched promptly and humanely".
It's strange what some people can consider to be "prompt and humane". Make no mistake, the hunted animal's death begins when the chase begins and, as hunters fondly relate (in their favourite magazines), hunts of seven, eight, and even 11 miles in pursuit of foxes, and much longer in the case of deer, no word could be less appropriate than "prompt" to describe the hideous and gruelling chase. And that is just the chase; in the case of a fox, the animal's abdomen and thorax is ripped open by the dogs. In the case of a deer, it has to stand, beaten, exhausted and trembling, before the pack, and watch in utter fear as a hunter approaches with a gun and shoots it dead.

Hunters go out, specifically to entertain themselves, and wreak utter misery and suffering upon beautiful, healthy wild animals. They consider it a fine day when they have torn the life from at least one of their chosen quarry, and better still, two or three. In fact, during the cub-hunting part of the fox-hunting season, a morning's carnage can involve six or more young foxes. Colin Richey may consider this matter to be of little importance, but to all decent people it is a matter of serious moral gravity, as are all issues concerning the infliction of pain and suffering upon a victim for the gratification of the humans inflicting the misery.

Penny Little
Great Haseley, Oxfordshhire


From Dusk 'til Dawn
An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement

© Keith Mann