13 August 1997
Alternative fox-hunting blueprint sent to MPs
THE Wildlife Network has called for the creation of an independent authority to regulate fox-hunting in a bid to head off calls to scrap hunting.
Fearing that farmers would use unacceptable methods to kill foxes if hunting were outlawed, the network has set upo a blueprint for regulation of the sport, which it has sent to MPs.
Under the networks plan, hunts would need a licence to operate from the authority, which would represent animal welfarists, scientists and farmers, among others. Cub-hunting would be abolished and the fox-hunting season would be reduced. The digging out of foxes would be illegal unless requested by the landowner. The use of lurcher dogs would be outlawed.
The group argues that a ban on traditional hunting would leave the fox worse off because landowners would use unacceptable killing methods.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals called it “spurious”, while the British Field Sports Society said it could be worthy of further discussion.