The calls to ban the practice of hunting if enacted will sound a death knell to a sport that since the 16th century has become an integral part of our culture. It is a culture that has over time elicited interest in thousand of participants all over Britain. I believe this practice should be upheld not just for its cultural values but also for its economic and sporting importance.
Taking a look at the history of foxhunting I become more convinced that this event should be upheld due to the satisfaction that it has been according to the participants. The history of fox hunting dates back to the 16th century, originally as a form of pest control and was carried out by English farmers. This was done by the farmers to protect their livestock, as foxes had become a real threat to their goats and chickens.
In some places in England, fox hunting remains largely a form of pest control. Should this practice be allowed I would not fathom how the opponents of fox hunting expect these farmers to safeguard their source of livelihood. I would not want to see the efforts of these farmers go into waste to satisfy the whims of some few animal rights crusaders. These foxes pose a threat not only to the humans but also to domesticated animals that are more productive and have received months of tending and feeding. I don’t see any other way that these foxes can be eliminated and the threat they pose to humans be reduced significantly. A look at their eating habits leaves me with a lot of disdain for foxes. Foxes can kill a whole pack of chickens while in the real sense it has an appetite of only one. This leads to wastage and should not be condoned; hunting them down remains the most effective way of reducing these incidences( Dagmar Orendi, February 2004.
The strong and the fast get to survive and see another down. Hence the hunting and killing of foxes should not be demonized or be viewed as an activity that seeks to fulfill the human’s sadistic tendencies. I am convinced that this activity plays a great role in the ecology more than we can fathom. In the wilderness it is survival for the fittest and hunting isolates the weak from the strong ensuring only the strong breed survives.
I am a great lover of sports, not only for the role that it plays in bringing individuals of varied and diversified social upbringing together but for the physical fitness that it instills in those that engage in it. Disregarding its original role and intentions, fox hunting is a sport that continues to create an effective forum for interactions and give individuals a chance to excise their limbs and minds. This is a sport that has evolved from far but still tends to maintain some of the traditional trends. In hunting the foxes, the hunters may opt to do so on foot, on horsebacks, on bicycles or using four wheels drive vehicles.
Regardless of the means used, it is a perfect opportunity for the hunters to engage in outdoor activities and enjoy their fun in the rough terrain. I would feel sad to see this sort of an activity banned and the joy of spectating and engaging in the sport diminished. Watching people foxhunt on the screen or hearing the tales of these expeditions gives me thrills and a yearning to participate in them too. By banning these practices, the authority seeks to deny us the excitement and adventure that comes with these sports either when you hear from third parties or when you have physically participated in the fete.
Fox hunting is an economic venture in that it not only seeks to reduce livestock losses but also increase the number of jobs created. It is an economic activity that is relied upon by significant number of people. I shudder at the thought of these individuals losing their jobs over what the opponents call ‘cruelty’ to animals.
I don’t understand their argument when they purport to advocate for animals, while at the same time failing to put into consideration the number of households and livelihoods that rely on fox hunting, either as a direct source of employment or due to reduced loss of their livestock. I have looked at a recent study that was seeking to establish the number of individuals that depend on fox hunting as a source of employment in the United Kingdom. The findings were interesting. Over 7,000 people fully rely on fox hunting for their living. I see no reason why we should legislate against fox hunting and put into jeopardy the lives of several thousands over arguments that do not hold any water.
Although I have an unshakeable believe that fox hunting should not be outlawed, I cannot fail to look at some of the arguments brought forth by the opponents of fox hunting. Animal rights activists are convinced that fox hunting should be outlawed fully and perpetrators thrown behind bars or fined. They cite a few reasons that also may be put into consideration but do not warrant outlawing the event. They claim that fox hunting is cruel considering the fact that the foxes end up being shredded into parts by the hunting dog. It is a very distressing affair to the foxes as they undergo a lot of suffering. They argue that fox hunting is cruel as the foxes do not die instantly but have to undergo a lot of pain.
I don’t find this argument strong in any way and deserving any form of attention. In the first place, foxes are hunted not primarily for sport and excitement but to reduce the threat facing the livestock. To the animal rights activists, it looks that the quality of human life and their source of livelihood is not important, what is important is that the foxes should not undergo suffering even when the strike at the livestock.
A cost benefit analysis of fox hunting reveals that it has more social and economic benefits than losses. In my opinion, I find that fox hunting is a venture that seeks to kill more than two birds with a single stone. Economically, the practice is beneficial to the society as it is a natural way for pest control. Socially, it provides us with an important forum whereby people in the society can interact and get to share out their experiences. The interaction play a great role in ensuring unity and cohesion and in one more way than one ensures stability in the community. As a sport, it is a practice that gives people an opportunity to engage in physical outdoor sporting A sport that not only puts their physique in to test but also their minds. I strongly believe that these and more are strong reasons why fox hunting should not be outlawed.
Dagmar Orendi, February 2004. The debate about fox hunting. A social and political analysis. Retrieved on 13/10/07 from http://.www.hu-berlin.de/gbz/downloads/pdf/pagmarorendi-masterthesis
Politics.co.uk 2007.Hunting with dogs. Politics unspun. Retrieved in 13/10/07 from http://www.politics.co.uk/issue-briefs/domestic-policy/animal-welfare/hunting
Badger, R.J Fox Hunting in Scotland. Research Note RN99-17, Scottish parliament Information Centre, Edinburgh
Macmillan, D.C 1999. The Economic Impact of a Ban on Fox Hunting in Scotland. Research Paper 99/3, Environmental and Rural Resource Economics Group, University of Aberdeen.