Sunday, November 21, 2004

Zounds, Outfoxed Again

The Fly Under the Bridge Academy fancies itself a connoisseur of good intentions gone awry. Today's example is from Scotland:

THE ban on hunting with dogs in Scotland has resulted in a doubling of the number of foxes killed, it emerged last night.

New figures obtained by Scotland on Sunday show that large numbers of foxes are now being shot by hunters, and dozens of the animals continue to be legally killed by hounds. Scotland biggest hunt, the Buccleuch, killed an average of 50 foxes a season prior to the ban. Figures produced by the huntsmen themselves show that for 2003-04, it alone killed more than 100.

....The Scottish ruling, enforced in 2002, banned hunts from using packs of hounds to kill foxes, with MSPs claiming that such a "barbaric" act could no longer be tolerated in a modern Scotland. It still allows hunts to use their dogs to ‘flush’ the animals out into the open, so that waiting guns can shoot them. Hounds still kill those foxes which are not fast enough to out-run them.

Instead of protecting foxes the law appears to have had the effect of creating several new ways of killings foxes, which has led to record figures for the main Scottish hunts. Weak foxes are being killed as before by hounds, while those that escape are being killed by guns.

Furthermore, prior to the ban, a fox was deemed to have ‘won’ if it managed to get underground before being chased down by the hounds. Hunts now, however, send terriers in after the fox and then shoot it when it emerges overground.

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