Why Britons still hunt foxes | The Economist

Why Britons still hunt foxes | The Economist

Britain’s parliament banned the use of dogs to kill foxes in 2005. Despite this, the number of people joining hunts is rising.

Hunting foxes with hounds is controversial and animal-rights groups campaigned for years to have it outlawed. Fifty-one percent of Britons support the ban. Now Britain’s prime minister David Cameron wants to relax the ban.

Why do Britons still hunt foxes?

Hunting clubs can still use dogs to flush out foxes from wooded areas. They may then kill them by shotgun or using a bird of prey, once the foxes are in the open. They are not allowed to let their dogs do the killing.

But policing the law is tricky.

Hunt members have managed to keep the pastime alive by sending their dogs after rags scented with fox pheromones. But dogs are dogs. Sometimes they smell a real fox and the huntsmen follow suit. Foxes are still killed by hunting dogs today.

Many farmers and landowners don’t object to hunts passing through their lands. Foxes cause about £12m pounds worth of damage to livestock and crops every year. Rabbits do more damage.

Contrary to stereotypes, hunt members come from all walks of life, which may hint at why it is still at the core of rural life.

A vote on relaxing the ban has been postponed. Scottish Nationalists say that won’t support any change.

Whatever Westminster decides, the fox is a hardy opponent. British foxes have a 60% chance of surviving their first winter, leaving about a quarter of a million of them to roam the lands.

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  1. OwO everything Wolfie is a proud furry on November 1, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    You know this is funny we have the whole Earth and yet we say animals do more damage then us and the global warming is going up each day because of US! We have cars and factorys that send pollution a message and soon all those icy places like Antarctica will be gone and that means no more polar bears…etc Just think if that happened or all the foxes and other animals that are hunted every year we’re gone WE’D ALL DIE!

  2. Terri Learn on November 1, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Save the foxes save the foxes let them live

  3. Mr Anonymous on November 1, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Lets be honest foxes can be a damb pest a times. and they kill livestock at high scale.
    I.m all for shooting them when needed but ripping them apart with dogs is down right cruel.
    Only the sick and twisted want to call that a sport.
    You cant eat the damb things.
    I.v shot hundred of rabbits and every one has been skinned and put in the freezer ferret foot ect.
    Kiiling something just for fun is very twisted and whoever does thats needs a headcheck.

  4. Monte Grainger on November 1, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    HOUNDS !!!!!! it drives me crazy – they are hounds

  5. K֟፝ag֟፝e Mochis֟፝ on November 1, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    So unnecessary and cruel

  6. Mr. Toolsofrenewal on November 1, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Dishonest to say rabbits cause more damage, in opposition to hunting foxes. People in England shoot rabbits.

  7. Freespiritbooklover X on November 1, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    They wouldn’t do this damage if farmers looked after their land better and if we hadn’t taken so much away from wildlife. This is just another example of how stupid people are destroying our earth. Grown men killing baby animals how pathetic.

  8. Wolffox172 AJ on November 1, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Um, I’m English so I’ll explain this, not everyone hunts them and you have tonnage a license as it is illegal due to the queen’s laws, even if they are pests, you still have to have a license. We still kill them as a few people (including me) hunt rabbits, squirrels and rats and foxes are declining their population

  9. Toxic Pepsi on November 1, 2019 at 3:55 pm


  10. NightShade Songs on November 1, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    my fav animal is a fox and im tring to become one using witchcraft and I live in Britain so im super sad

  11. Aero the Lycanroc Edgelord on November 1, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    If I saw this, I would find the leader of the hunt and literally beat the crap out of him.

  12. Thel Vadam on November 1, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    51% ban? I couldn’t give one, I’m still gonna kill foxes

  13. mike young on November 1, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Most foxes are now killed at night with a rifle and night vision . At the best a hunt will kill two in a day , the other night two of us killed six .

  14. Ross Taylor on November 1, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    They say rabbits do more damage as if we don’t shoot and use dogs to kill them

  15. Lord Cow-Tart Bungleturd on November 1, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    foxes need culling thank god brave men and women take time to do it

  16. Rakha Abhyasa on November 1, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Boo foxes there killing pets and livestocks and
    chickens boo i hate foxes that are pest!!!!

  17. DrewPicklesTheDark on November 1, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Anyone upset over foxes being hunted hasn’t lived in an area where foxes live. They are fucking god awful, they kill peoples chickens, kill peoples cats, get in to trash, dig up gardens, among other annoying things, wish these guys could come to where I live.

  18. ClubGaming on November 1, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    I think bird of prey killing fox is not much less cruel than the dogs.. perhaps even more painful for the fox..

  19. Oliver Findlay on November 1, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Fuck them cunts

  20. RR Hunter on November 1, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    silly question! Of course asked by people who don’t have clue what is the environment management, tradition, culture, etc!

  21. D90Girl on November 1, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    As a Red Fox pet owner, I find this very cruel.
    I think we should round up man killing PITBULLS instead , and blow their brains out !

  22. Lexi Yeet on November 1, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Yeah the UK is dirty, disgusting, and the people are shit 🤷🏻‍♀️

  23. FCTT on November 1, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    It’s perfectly legal to shoot them though

  24. Joanne Brown on November 1, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Spell Britain right

  25. Batman on November 1, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    whats your problem

  26. Dragon Crackers on November 1, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    That shouldnt be up to the city people. If the fox is not endangered and the landowners encourage hunting, then it should be continued. Foxes arnt going into office buildings and boutiques and eating paper work and Gucci handbags. British people have become so soft that it is embarrassing. Whats next mouse traps are inhumane? Dont even comment if thats a thing, I may throw up.

  27. Bob Martin on November 1, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    I hunt with hound at night they never see the fox just chase the scent.

  28. Jammy Dodger on November 1, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Trail hunting is a lie. They kill foxes and other wildlife on purpose not because the hounds strayed off.

  29. Riley DogStorm on November 1, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Y’all support PETA? SMH. They have a 74% Mortality rate and 80% earlier this year. Dumb ass people.

  30. Lord Cow-Tart Bungleturd on November 1, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Anyone with a horse can nunt – vermin kill them all!

  31. History Academy on November 1, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    If you are interested, I have created a teaching resource foe secondarys school students on this issue and whether the ban shoudl be lifted. It can be downloaded from here https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/card-sort-fox-hunting-debate-11939991

  32. RECKANOWHERE on November 1, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    It’s not Britons, it’s English upper scum class

  33. Eva Gacha on November 1, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Now I hate being british

  34. Geraint Thomas on November 1, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    So foxes eating other animals to survive is considered as pests? But it’s ok for humans to eat them? Makes me sick!!

  35. buitoni123456789 on November 1, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Instead of obsessing about a long standing institution and English tradition of fox hunting these snowflakes should focus on halal slaughter houses !!!

  36. black bob on November 1, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    51% my arse. how’s about 83%, bleeding facist rag.

  37. richard on November 1, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    it is not about controlling foxes it’s all about money for the toff’s that run the hunting groups and the shoots a fox kills to live and there is no mention about the number of birds of prey that the gamekeepers kill to protected the game birds for the shooting community

  38. Maurice on November 1, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Let’s turn the tables and hunt the hunters. See how THEY like being chased over the countryside.

  39. richard on November 1, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    rabbits cause more damage and who kills rabbits foxes do what do hunters do kill foxes dickheads

  40. Matthew Read on November 1, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    Let’s get one thing straight, humans = responsible for Mass extinction of native animal populations, desertification of the wilderness, disrupting the natural balance of the ecosystems globally.
    Fox = occasionally killing a few chickens ect.

    The real reason for the so called hunting is because rich toffee nose twats riding on horse back enjoy killing. Plain and simple, it’s not Pest control as I must admit if newer been bothered by foxes at all and I have had chickens for 9 years. We stole their habitat in the first place. Banging on about global warming and all that bollocks whilst the natural world is built on and turned in to a Baron wilderness to cater to the real. Pests, humans.

  41. Back To Eden on November 1, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    they love killing things

  42. motohunter on November 1, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Bring it back and fuck off anti cunts

  43. Spitalhatch on November 1, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Controlling foxes as vermin is one thing, hunting for ‘sport’ is quite another.

  44. richard on November 1, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    soon if this carries on the only place to see a fox will be in the towns and cities and then what will the hunts do oh yes as they are now breeding foxes themselves for the hunt. good example of this is the isle of wight there were no foxes on the island until the hunts introduced them

  45. Man Kind on November 1, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Lets kill everyone in U.K! no more fox hunting,no more crops damage. start with the filthy dogs

  46. NEXTFIXX - on November 1, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    This just tickles my pickle 😡 foxes are wonderful creatures and we need to appreciate them. One of the most famous (the red fox) is going endangered and we need to stop killing them for there fur 😠


  47. excuse me wat on November 1, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    so foxes get killed for messing with livestock, but we people have been messing with nature, and this planet. Okay, yes I get it "oh we need to kill this animal because they are doing this, and this." But we people cause more harm than anything that existed on this planet :/

  48. Savage on November 1, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Blood sport for cunts.

  49. black bob on November 1, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    51% in favour of a ban ?……. AND THE REST .

  50. srspower on November 1, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    You don’t actually have any evidence for this though do you, this is a misrepresentation of reality. We DO NOT hunt foxes in the UK anymore we shoot them.

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