Helen (heleninwales) wrote,
Helen
heleninwales

I don't usually do political, but...

This started out as a comment to karentraviss's post about the ban on hunting with dogs, but it got rather long, so I've left a shortened version as the comment and transplanted the rantette here.

I do wish they could separate the pleasure aspect of hunting from the pest control aspect. The two are hopelessly muddled at the moment. To be honest, the people I knew who hunted didn't ride to hounds to see a furry creature be torn to pieces. Mostly they wouldn't be in at the kill anyway; they'd have lagged some way behind, being on hairy ponies. What they did want was the chance to ride out with a bunch of fellow horse-people and have a jolly good day in the countryside, jumping obstacles and riding across new country. So they could do this with a drag hunt.

Just to cloud the issue slightly, drag hunting is even more dangerous than fox hunting (for the human and equines participants, I mean), because the trail is clearer and the hounds go faster, but I'm sure this could be tweaked with subtler scents. Or there's a variant I once heard of that uses bloodhounds and human quarry (volunteers, of course!). This entails the local hunt teaming up with a local running club. All good fun I'm sure, and nothing has to die.

The problem with lumping it all together under "hunting with dogs" is that it will outlaw the type of hunt that happens near us, which is not the mob of people in hunting pink on fit, clipped hunters galloping cross country. What happens near us is that a bunch of neighbouring farmers get together with their shotguns and a few couple of hounds and set off, on foot, up the mountain on which tiny lambs will shortly be gambolling. The dogs flush out the foxes, which are promptly shot. No long protracted chases, with hordes of riders view halloing across the countryside.

By the way, you have to watch out when this is happening because they carefully erect Perygl Saethu signs around the area, but I've never yet seen the English translation Danger Shooting! So two Welsh words worth learning there, even if you don't master any more.
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