Monday, November 05, 2007

Hunting Ban Makes Hunting More Popular

News from the United Kingdom is that the hunting ban enacted there in 2005 has actually increased the popularity of hunting:

"Against expectations, hunting has been able to continue, legally for the most part, with little difference in style. As Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, puts it, 'most people would find this season's sport quite difficult to differentiate from old-fashioned hunting'. It is more popular than ever.

'It's a bit like prohibition,' declares Seed {master of a hunt}. 'If you want to make something popular, ban it.' No hunt has closed since 2005; two have been started. 'A lot of people came out at a time of controversy and decided they liked it,' says Farquhar."

Enforcement of the Hunting Act has apparently been haphazard and the anti-hunting forces who "monitor" and disrupt hunts are frustrated:

"There have been more than 30,000 days of hunting since 2005; the League Against Cruel Sports has secured 20 convictions under the Hunting Act, only three of them relating to the activities of established hunts. More people have been convicted for hunting rats than foxes."


"Police seem more concerned to prevent clashes between "monitors" and hunt staff than to follow hunts lest they breach the Act. Hunting offences do not count towards their targets.

The frustration of the anti-hunt lobby is apparent in the proposal made by Ann Widdecombe on the Today programme last week, by which League Against Cruel Sports monitors would be contracted as evidence-gatherers for the police."

The apparent intent of the Hunting Act was to save wildlife from cruel deaths. Enforcement of the Act has also run headlong into the law of unintended consequences:

"Research by the Exmoor and District Deer Management Society Consensus has revealed a 20 per cent decrease in deer numbers in 2006 against a trend of steady rises over the previous decade.

This is the great irony of the Act: it has led to the shooting of more deer and foxes. Farmers and landowners no longer have a reason to tolerate animals that destroy crops, lambs or pheasant chicks."

These are interesting developments to read about for us pro-hunters here in the US. I look forward to reading some informed comments from our readers across the water who are having to live with this state of affairs.

Also, over the weekend, Terrierman addressed this issue with a post titled "The UK Hunting Ban Is Not Helping Foxes."


Matt Mullenix said...

Jolly good!

Heidi the Hick said...

Tally ho!


Chas S. Clifton said...

There seems to be a problem with the Terrierman link.

Reid Farmer said...

You're right, Chas. Fixed now