Fox hunting ban should stay, say Star readers

The ban on fox hunting should stay – that’s the verdict of a poll undertaken by the Shropshire Star.

Crowds turn out in Newport to see the riders and hounds gather for Albrighton’s traditional Boxing Day meet
Crowds turn out in Newport to see the riders and hounds gather for Albrighton’s traditional Boxing Day meet

After massive crowds turned out for the Boxing Day hunts in towns including Newport, Shrewsbury, Ludlow and Morville, near Bridgnorth, we asked our readers if it was time for hunting with dogs to be made legal once more.

About 10,000 people took part, with 64 per cent of them saying fox hunting with hounds should remain banned.

The poll, which ran for two days and attracted 9,790 votes, came after a survey conducted for the League Against Cruel Sports and the RSPCA found 80 per cent of the public believe fox hunting should remain illegal, with support equally strong in both rural and urban areas.

Supporters of fox hunting are pushing for a new vote on the ban, as promised by the coalition following the 2010 general election.

Last October, Prime Minister David Cameron said he had “sympathy” with calls for the rules on fox hunting to be loosened.

However, Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies said today that despite being in favour of overturning the ban, he doesn’t see any point in calling a vote on the issue at the moment.

“I’ve always been in favour of allowing fox hunting to remain legal and that’s still my view, but there’s not a majority of MPs in the House that agree with me, and I don’t expect that to change,” he said.

“People do contact me quite regularly about the issue, but there doesn’t seem any point in discussing it at the moment since there isn’t going to be a change.”

Mr Davies said if a vote was called on the issue then he would vote in favour of overturning the ban. “On humanitarian or welfare grounds I don’t think there’s a good reason to ban fox hunting,” he added.

Respondents to the Shropshire Star poll left dozens of comments.

One said: “No matter what your opinion on whether fox hunting is traditional or not, the method of hunting foxes with dogs and horses is cruel. That’s it, fact.”

Diane Bartlett said: “Fox hunting should have been totally banned. Hunts are regularly breaking the law like stubborn children. I think a total ban will sort this out.”

The survey, carried out by Ipsos Mori, whose figures were released on Boxing Day, also suggested there was no difference between the views of people living in rural and urban areas. However, John Rimington, from the Hare Preservation Trust, said much of the hunting carried out in the UK is not chasing foxes.

He said: “Further to your poll, most people are unaware that a third of dog-pack hunts in England and Wales are nothing to do with foxes.  Instead their quarry is our iconic and inoffensive brown hare, drastically declined in numbers by over 80 per cent since 1880 and listed in 2011 in a report for Eden TV natural history channel to be at risk of extinction by 2050.

“An Ipsos Mori poll has just shown an overwhelming 87 per cent public opposition to hare hunting and coursing, applying equally to both country and urban dwellers.

“That children are being indoctrinated into these sadistically retrograde activities is a disturbing reflection on the lack of ethics and ecological awareness by a very introvert minority faction within our society.”

Gavin Grant, chief executive of the RSPCA, said: “The fact that 80 per cent of the public oppose the return of this bloodsport comes as no surprise to me.

“The message to MPs is loud and clear. Hunting wild animals with dogs is unethical, inhumane and cruel. The British people will simply not allow a totally unrepresentative elite to re-introduce it.”

l In the region there are the North Shropshire, South Shropshire, Albrighton & Woodland, Tanatside, Ludlow, Wheatland and United hunts.

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Comments for: "Fox hunting ban should stay, say Star readers"

Mr Majestic

Oh dear we now have a guy from the preservation of hares stating a third chase hares not foxes ??? goes against the views of many antis on this forum they say foxes are chased??? so who is telling porkies .

The poll however is totally irrelevant reason fox hunting by a pack of hounds is banned and does not take place these are drag hunts that take place . However most seem to think it is not banned either through ignorance of the law which is rather shocking or just do not believe the ban is adhered too . Most gripes regards hunting is miss guided class issues that some of these people have .

The view of the rspca is also irrelevant well I think the star should run a poll on "do we think the rscpca are a credible animal charity" ????? check some of the forum which discuss the rspca you will be very surprised. high profile case of the city farm cows , putting down animals after a period a relative short period of attempting to rehome .

Hare coursing is banned, stag hunting is banned also , however rabbits are not protected and are dispatched via a lurcher/greyhound or ferret as they chase them in to a net where they are again are dispatched using a priest which is a heavy leaded weight item and they then go in to the pot or to your now rather rare local family butcher..


Why are the views of the RSPCA irrelevant,they are as relevant as your views aren't they?If the poll is irrelevant why are you commenting on it?It seems anybody who as an opposing view to yours is irrelevant.


Ramble ramble..... I lose interest in your antagonistic views after the first few sentences. Your grammar is all over the place which doesn't help.


To enlighten confused and ignorant Mr.Majestic [I'm guessing he's not!] there are around 190 registered fox hunts in England & Wales, about 80 hare hunts [using beagles] and about a dozen harrier packs, that hunt hares and foxes. Reports from monitors and sabs from all over the country make it clear that only a tiny proportion stick to the law and engage only in drag or, as they call it, trail hunting. So why are so few prosecuted? Firstly, the Hunting Act is riddled with weak wording and loopholes that Hunts ruthlessly exploit and which raise the evidence bar for convictions incredibly high. Secondly, partly because of that and because the sanctions provided by the Act are so slight, police show little interest in Hunt's activities or in pursuing reports of illegal hunting. The answer to this is not to repeal or weaken the Act so that it provides a considerably greater deterrent and is easier to enforce. We simply can not have an, albeit very small, segment of the population, whether they be peasants or peers [and hunting attracts both] believing they are above the law, let alone persistently flaunting it.


Pleased you took notice of me and corrected your spelling. Now if you could try and make some sort of sense in your writing then we could progress. Read back to yourself, you make little or no sense at all. I neither agree or disagree with what you are saying, as I cannot decipher what you are saying. It is embarrassingly poor.


Although the official line is that hunts now chase an artificial scent, fox hunting continues just as it did before the ban. It's "business as usual" and frankly the public - who are mostly raised on a Disney view of the world - don't seem too exercised about it. The police likewise. Leave things as they are.


I can only comment from personal experience, since foxhunting has been banned the local hunt to me has changed its area. It no longer hunts where is used to on this side of the valley, but on the other which is more open ground and fewer foxes. The foxes on this side of the valley are now controlled by shooting. So I do not think it is business as usual hunting people are not normally the sort of people to simply disregard the law.


If fox hunting with dogs is continuing why are the pro hunting lobby now saying that there has been a growth in the fox population as a reason for legalising hunting again?

thomas the tank

Because fox hunting has never been a succesful way to control the fox population, just a bit of fun. I know a guy who shoots foxes and probably dispatches more in a single night than most hunts get in a month.


Celtic tiger,

The rspca is the public face of animals rights who should lose the charity status. They have lost their way and no longer look after animal intrests just follow/spend vast sums on their pr boss's high profile confrontational agenda. Fast losing donations and credibility, they then show cute kittens and puppies in christmas tv adverts in the hope of recruiting new money to replace the hundreds of thousands lost in court cases. Stick to what they were set up for which isn't politics !!!

Mr Majestic

Oh I do think many antis on here understand me very well. I suggest they do not detract from the issue my grammar etc is not the topic .

I am also well aware of the packs that are around the uk and what they "use" to hunt.

It is absolutely ridiculous to imply these hunts are breaking the law three or four times a week uk wide , as the police and all authorities choose to ignore ??.

It is my opinion that clearly many on here must subscribe to conspiracy monthly.

monitors and sabs say that hunting in its old form is still going on with the majority of hunts?????nonsense.

If a sab or monitor reports a crime to the police or suspected crime it is documented and the police have a duty to investigate and cps prosecute , the police do investigate and send relevant information to cps if a crime has been committed who in turn prosecute if a reasonable chance of conviction is possible .

Alanpowa states the" law around hunting is so riddled with holes and the evidence needed is so high for a prosecution" .He then implies the police are not doing their job??? .

So if we subscribe to the conspiracy theory no prosecutions because the police are not doing their job and the hunt is doing it all in secret on private land so nobody can see all according to sabs and antis .

Or we could say that the hunts are acting within the law and as such they are not breaking the law as Alanpowa clearly states the law is riddled with holes , as such, if the hunts are within the law he or any anti or sab cant say the hunts are breaking the law because clearly they are not.

As stated before the views of an organisation such as the RSPCSA are irrelevant as they have an agenda which see them happy to be affiliated with the Royal connection even though the royal are blood sport enthusiasts , If the Rscpa had any back bone or the courage of their convictions they would DROP the royal connection .

As for hunting I am an occasional foot follower and a relative use to ride out with a Shropshire hunt. I have also followed hunts in Ireland and france as a guest , I am simply a person who mixes in this circle and is well aware the vast majority of the hunts stay within the law and drag hunt.

I am predominantly a pheasant and rough shooter and occasional fisherman and have encountered abuse over the years while participating in these hobbies all be it I am indulging in a law abiding hobby .

Many people in blood sports are going about their business in a legal way and are being subject to abuse etc from some quarters. Surely these people if they do not agree with something, they should be active and setting about trying to changing the law ??? but they don't , the majority just seem to love engage in sabing etc which to me is simply a hobby that many of them enjoy ,they plan , meet up have drinks and chat about it before and after although they do have the animals welfare at heart, it does seem they enjoy a hunt too but with humans as the prey .

Verbal abuse of an individual is also by law if the individual is in fear of his or her safety an offence under assault , now I have heard and seen plenty of that granted by both sides but the antis and sabs are the ones being confrontational and have no business sticking cameras in peoples faces , videoing and giving verbal abuse to people going about their business as such if they were not doing it they would not be on the receiving end of it people have a right to defend themselves .


The RSPCA are going to have a biased target group of people who are obviously not going to be in favour of hunting. In this country there are still a lot of uneducated people who still seem to think it is an elitist activity when you are quite likely to find people from all walks of life. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but more often than not people who are against it will just shout everyone around them down. Please don't tell me that sabs are animal lovers! They don't give a dam about the horses and hounds, some hounds have even been left food with nails packed into it. Real animal lovers. The hunts are well supported so don't know where they get their figures from.


If the general public knew the facts about fox hunting, your poll would be higher against it. Stopping up earths so the fox has to remain in the open to chase, Moving foxes around the country when the fox population is low just so there is something to chase. The pleasure they get from keeping the poor animal above ground so it can be run almost to death and then blooding new recruits. Be honest you followers, you are not concerned with animal welfare, you want a good day out on your horses. It is part of your social calendar and you simply refuse to lose it. Tell us your real reasons for being part of a hunt. It is nothing to do with sport and everything t do with blood lust!