An open letter to “Conservatives Against Foxhunting”

I was taken aback, and saddened, to find that there’s a group established in Westminster called “Conservatives Against Fox-Hunting”.

I am not at all clear about their motivation.  Are they genuinely concerned about animal welfare?  If so, they ought to have read the Burns report.  They know (or ought to know) that hunting with hounds is the most humane way of culling foxes.  It is the only way that guarantees that an injured fox is never left to a lingering, painful death — and there are no hospices for foxes.  They know (or ought to know) that hunting is the only culling method that preferentially takes old, weak or sick foxes, and thus promotes the fitness (in a Darwinian sense) of the fox population.

Thus hunting is good for the fox population generally, and may even be better for the individual fox than to be left to die of starvation or sickness.  Without hunting, other less humane culling methods, legal or illegal — shooting, trapping, snaring, poisoning — will be used.

Do they just hate the idea of civilised people “taking pleasure in seeing a fox ripped to pieces”?  Is it all about promoting a cuddly, fluffy image for the Party?  They can be reassured.  Few of those who follow the hunt actually see the kill, and no one I’ve ever met takes a sadistic interest in the death of the fox per se.  They simply love the countryside, the horses, the fresh air, the fences, the access to the land, and the hounds working (just as those who follow hare coursing, as I used to do before the ban, take no pleasure in the death of the hare — but they delight in seeing the greyhounds compete with each other).

And no, a scent trail isn’t just the same.  The whole point of a live quarry is that it’s autonomous and unpredictable.

Do they believe that hunting is just too old-fashioned for today’s world?  I’ve heard it said that “We don’t have to keep doing it just because it’s traditional”.  No indeed.  But we don’t have to stop doing it just because it’s traditional, either.  Conservatives of a Burkean disposition respect the wisdom of their forebears.  A good motto for Tories is “If it is not necessary to change something, it is necessary not to change it”.   Too often, change for the sake of change just makes matters worse.  Conservatives should be instantly sceptical of what Tony Blair called “modernisation”, or others call “alteration for the sake of novelty”.

Do they just find the idea of hunting distasteful?  That’s their right, and their response should simply be not to hunt.  If they don’t like it, they don’t have to do it.  I don’t like football, but I don’t want to ban it.  Again, the instinct of Conservatives should be, as far as possible, to leave moral choices to individual citizens.  They should not reach first of all for the heavy hammer of bans and legislation.  Freedom, and the right to make our own choices as far as possible, should be at the heart of conservative philosophy — and policy.

Or do they rely on a self-serving belief that there are votes in opposing hunting?  I suspect not.  While a significant proportion of the public will tell pollsters that they oppose hunting, they don’t feel strongly about it.  Few turn out to oppose it — but best part of half a million turned out in London to support hunting, and most of those were Tory voters.

Finally, there is a matter of trust.  Conservative MPs were elected on a manifesto commitment to take action on the Hunting Act.  As a result, huge numbers of hunting people came out to support the Party in recent elections.  I well remember one night of appalling weather in Scarborough, where I and Chris Heaton-Harris MP were canvassing on behalf of Robert Goodwill MP, our former MEP colleague.  The wind was howling, the rain was horizontal, the umbrellas were blown away.  Frankly, I’d have been inclined to give up, but I was shamed into continuing by the local hunt supporters who had turned out with us, and who carried on regardless.

Similar scenes were played out across the country, mostly but not solely in rural areas and Conservative heartlands.  We owe these people a debt of gratitude.  I’d go further, and say it’s a debt of honour.  We owe it to them to repeal this unworkable and illiberal Act.

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150 Responses to An open letter to “Conservatives Against Foxhunting”

  1. harrybeckhough says:

    I fully agree with Helmer Hunting is one of our good ancient activities for the benefit of our countryside.. Harry

    • Maria E Prior says:

      Harry! You are a complete idiot! There is nothing ‘good’ about fox hunting! The majority oppose it! To call this vile so called ‘sport’ an ‘activity’ is beyond most people!!

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      So do I Harry, we live in the Cornish countryside and kept chickens, the Chacewater Foot Hunt with hounds and shotguns kept our local foxes under control. a year after the ban started one broke into our enclosure at night destroying our hens. The carnage is hardly pretty, and should be understood by anti hunting advocates. Those who know exactly what we should do and desire to micro manage our lives are breaking my grandmothers rule of non interference, live and let live.

      • BarryF says:

        Of course the state should be involved in who can hunt what, Brin. Suppose someone wanted to start hunting horses? Or hunt deer with bows and arrows like they do in the States?

  2. Alistair Bull says:

    The Burns report concluded that fox hunting is a totally inefficient way of culling foxes and that hunting is unnecessarily cruel and undoubtedly very poor for animal welfare. You know (or ought to know) this.

    • You must have read a different version of the report.

      • mhayworth says:

        Don’t play dumb Roger. Read the published report on the Hansard website where Burns clearly said that hunting with hounds seriously compromises the welfare of the fox and that lamping was the most humane method.

        He was later quoted as saying (when asked a loaded question) that hunting with hounds was more humane than poisoning, gassing, or shooting and wounding. Well of course he would in that case, because lamping was purposely not included in the pro-hunt driven question. That is why I made the point earlier that shooting a human would be more humane than burning them to death – but neither needs to occur!

      • @mhayworth but lamping can wound foxes too. There is no means of controlling wild foxes that does not seriously compromise their welfare. But not managing wildlife seriously compromises wild animal welfare too.

    • could you provide a quote where the burns report states hunting is cruel? Why did Lord Burns state that they did not say hunting was cruel? Was he lying about his own report?

    • As far as being an innefficient means of killing – if you oppose killing why would that be a bad thing?

  3. Pingback: Conservative MEP writes about Conservatives Against Fox Hunting group established in Westminster. « Conservatives Against Fox Hunting

    • Tory says:

      One of the worst articles I’ve ever read: these people are embarrassingly confused, and they’re confused because they purport to be ‘conservative’ and yet display all the hallmarks of autocratic mini-Hitler’s. The Socialist Workers Party would be proud.

      It’s frustrating when they can so brazenly write:

      >>The tradition of hunting with dogs was banned six years ago.Tradition should not be valued above progress. <>>This distancing does not absolve them from the responsibility of being involved and facilitating the activity of encouraging dogs to attack wild animals.<<<

      The authour seems to think that he's the chief arbiter and beholder of all things that are 'right' or 'wrong'; evidently, he's quite prepared to legislate against those that disagree with his subjective views, just like any good ol' socialist control freak. It's so very disheartening that these little-Fuhrers are part and parcel of the Conservative Party.

  4. Pingback: Conservative MEP writes about Conservatives Against Fox Hunting … |

  5. mhayworth says:

    Roger, your entire thought process in attempting to understand the Conservatives against foxhunting just shows what a nasty old man you are. ‘Old fashioned’, ‘distasteful’, ‘promoting a fluffy image for the party’, ‘self-serving belief that there are votes in opposing hunting’? Like so many hunters, you clearly aren’t capable of compassion for the fox itself, hence your inability to understand how decent human beings feel about such a horrific tradition. What you really find disturbing is that you can no longer run with the myth that anti-hunt sentiment is for left-wing bunny huggers and crazed animal rights activists.

    Comparing hunting with hounds to other equally cruel methods of dispatch is ludicrous. It is like saying it is kinder to shoot a person than burn them to death. Well, that may be true but neither methods are necessary. It is well documented that Burns came to the conclusion that lamping was the most humane method of dispatching a fox, certainly not hunting with hounds. If you really believed that all wild animals died a slow and painful death from starvation, you certainly wouldn’t limit your hunts to just a few target species – so your faux concern for fox welfare is not going to win the day.

    A comment from a recent hunting article contained a quote that summed it all up in my view.

    “the thrill you get when you see the creature die, knowing that it was you who had the power for it to live or die, is exhilarating”.

    Another comment was from a farmer who said: ” All the farmers round here ( Minehead) dont want the hunt – stag or fox – because of the disruption to stock, the damage to fences and tracks, the sheer arrogance of the average hunter and the threat to livelihood that opposing the hunt might cause. Nobody wants to feel threatened…..the hunt in this area do just that.”

    You kind of people Roger?

    • I do wish you’d actually read what I’d said. It is a fact that relatively few hunt followers see the kill, and it is a fact (based on my own observation) that no one hunts because they are thrilled by watching animals die. (They could go to an abattoir).

      Youy say that I am incapable of feeling compassion for the fox itself. No — you are the one who is incapable of feeling compasion for the fox itself, because you want to ban the most humane culling method, and therefore condemn many foxes to much more unnecessary pain and suffering.

  6. annethomson says:

    What a vile person you are , humane , you don’t know the meaning of the word.
    You are a dinosaur that is not aware of the changes around you. How on earth did thou get to be an MEP . Thanks G-d for the new young conservatives who have their finger on the pulse of the country and not on the weak pulse of the lords.
    Ripping apart any animal for sport belongs in the dark ages as it would seem do you.

    I don’d suppose you will print this as freedom of speech is very 21st century.

    • Dear Anne, pse see my comment above. By banning hunting, you cause more suffering to foxes. How humane is that? How vile are you?

      • annethomson says:

        I have read all the reports and can find no evidence to support hunting a fox with a pack of dogs and then tearing it apart is humane. Not that i need a report.
        You say it’s pest control so why do hunts breed foxes.
        I am an ex hunter you are clearly talking to the wrong person. I grew up with the hunts and the master of the hounds and there is nothing humane about any part of it, digging out, cubing , terrier men , blooding need i say more. How dare you insult my intelligence by by even suggesting it is humane. Trapping and Shooting, gassing and shooting may be humane but never fox hunting. Yes the thrill is less when you know the path but so is the suffering.
        Less than 50 hunts support “blood” out of 300 plus. Not even your own “sport” supports blood hunting . I suggest you are ignorant of the truth of hunting or just ignorant. But you clearly do not know your topic. As an ex fox hunter I do. I suggest you find out more fact before you pursue this nonsense .

      • Maria E Prior says:

        Mr Helmer, for a man in your position to openly call this lady ‘vile’ shows exactly how unfit you are to hold this office! People like you are meant to be above ‘name calling’!

    • It seems to me that Roger is rather pro freedom of speech – try posting on the LACS blog – they are very unlikely to publish unsympathetic comments and would never reply to them like Roger is.

  7. R Kerr says:

    The CA marches began with a rally for hunting in Hyde Park, and moved on to marches for the countryside as a whole. Despite the shift in focus, the media and parts of the general population still regarded those marches as being for hunting. I know a group of gamekeepers from Scotland who travelled to London for the Hyde Park Rally for hunting; they’re not hunting people, but they felt hunting was part of the country sports stable and should be supported. They also travelled to later Scottish pro-hunting events to support their fellow country sportsmen. My personal heritage is inextricably tied to game shooting and deer-stalking; I’ve no interest in hunting, but it’s part of much of the UK countryside. I marched twice for the countryside and therefore hunting got a share of my footfall support. Like those gamekeepers, I feel totally shafted when members of the hunting community choose to stick two fingers up at the rest of us in the way you have here.

    I’m nearly 40 and on the numerous occasions I’ve been spotlighting foxes with gamekeepers I’ve never seen a fox injured, let alone left to a painful, lingering death.

    Forgetting about the ban for a moment – I’m sure there are key areas of the UK where hunting with dogs is far more effective than snaring or lamping (craggy fells?); equally, there are places in the UK where lamping and/or snaring is more effective. If not, there are at least areas of the UK where there are no local hunts. Where it occurs, hunting with dogs is primarily about sport and being a method of controlling a population is secondary to that. I believe shooting is the most efficient method of control, I have no interest in hunting but I’d never have set about publicly decrying it as a method of control. Choosing to try and discredit other people whose livelihoods are dependent on the countryside is a pretty rotten way to go. I hope your hunting community never need support from the rest of us in the countryside again, because with backstabbing like this you may find yourself several thousand people short.

    I think the Gov’t was wrong to pass a law they were going to pick & choose to enforce; old Mrs Jones’ down the road and her 3 terriers that chase and kill anything that moves are left to get on with it while hunts operating legally are harassed. A quite shocking waste of resource and money.

    Was it cruel to kill a fox like that? I believe it was a very quick death – one swift, clean bite and they’re gone. What happened seconds later may have been unpleasant for some people but the fox was gone by then, so no pain involved. But was it “better” than shooting? No. It was just different. And that’s why you had support from me. NB the past tense.

    • R Kerr I agree with you shooting can be the best method but it isn’t always. With respect to deer stalking imo it only really works properly where the stalkers are managing the deer across a wide area such as large estates in Scotland. We don’t have that situation down here in Devon and somerset where the land is parcelled into small farms. Deer need to be managed in a way that involves the co operation of many landowners.

      • R Kerr says:

        Re deerstalking: having lived in rural areas of Scotland, Northumberland and Hampshire I absolutely agree. The way landowners operate and co-operate is crucial to good practice deer management.

        But my point was that the hunting community, who are part of the country fieldsports and livelihood community, would be better to support the rest of that community. The shooting community came out in support of them when they really needed it and for their personal efforts were rewarded with backstabbing.

    • Nigel Robertson says:

      Well you have to decide if you hunt for fun or for management, don’t you?

      Shooting might be management. hunting with 50 horses and 50 dogs is NOT, it’s fun. That is why foxhunts and farmers own coverts for their quarry species to live in. The Quorn owns 19 coverts for example.

      And since according to the Burns report hunts only kill around 10% of foxes, while litters are 5 or 6 in size, it’s clear the effect on the fox population is nil.

      Likewise killing a stag with dogs when some other stag will still mate all the available hinds is not management either. It’s fun.

      So the question is entirely whether chasing and killing these animals AS AN AMUSEMENT is a suitable way for homo sapiens to behave, these days.

      In general hunters do increasingly recognise that this behaviour is wrong, and that’s why those who persevere with it are becoming increasingly dishonest about it.

      For just one example, your claim that it’s quick death, ignoring the long period of terror that precedes it, seems quite dishonest to me.

      As does trying to mix up the issue with shooting, SOME of which is indeed management.

  8. mhayworth I’m in Devon and I can assure you most of the farmers round here do want the hunt. That’s why 95% of them allow it on their land and also why so many of them follow it.

    Stag Hunting is community based wildlife management. It is a key way in which co ordinated control is exerted over the red deer population and centuries of stag hunting have ensured the only truly wild and the finest herds of red deer in England outside of the lakes.

    Roger compares the welfare outcome of hunting with other forms of control and also with foxes dieing of disease and starvation. You say this is ridiculous. Why? If there is more suffering since the ban then surely given that the alleged purpose of the ban was to improve animal welfare then surely this is relevant.

    If we did not control wild deer then the eventual outcome would be bad for the deer herds for individual animals and for our ecology.

    Without control either by man or by natural predators deer populations will increase until they exhaust their resources. Then they will start to die en masse from diseases and starvation. This is the so called ‘natural self regulation’ that anti hunters trumpet. It is no more natural than shutting animals in a barn and letting them starve to death.

    Look at the LACS sanctuaries for an example of ‘natural self regulation’ Deer numbers increased to unsustainable levels until they succumbed to TB and lungworm. Over a hundred deer were dieing a year on a holding of less than 300 acres. That is a disgusting and unforgivable level of cruelty.

  9. al woodcock says:


    You show your total ignorance with your sentence “I’m not at all clear about their motivation”

    I would have thought that was pretty obvious!

    Here’s another quote:

    “It is the only way that guarantees that an injured fox is never left to a lingering, painful death — and there are no hospices for foxes. They know (or ought to know) that hunting is the only culling method that preferentially takes old, weak or sick foxes, and thus promotes the fitness (in a Darwinian sense) of the fox population”

    Hunting foxes with hounds does not ‘take old, weak or sick foxes’ either. That is just an excuse. How do you explain ‘cubbing’ then?

    ‘cubbing’ is the practice where hunt folk take their young dogs out to ‘get the taste for’ foxes and encourage them to tear foxes up!! Any that show no interest, or can’t be encouraged are destroyed.

    “There are no hospices for foxes’. Yeah, we know that thank you, you patronising old man.

    …And explain exactly what is fair about ‘digging out’ where a fox that’s gone to ground gets dug out of it’s refuge and has terriers set upon it!

    I think you are way, way out of touch with the 21st century, Mr Helmer. Hunting foxes with the mounted field, a pack of hounds, terriers, terrier men, quad bikes, horse boxes, Land rovers and 4x4s, crowds of people on foot, and a ‘gridlock’ of cars blocking roads off and all the disturbance and turmoil that goes with it is OVER! Get over it!!!!

    You are merely making the same old tired excuses, we’ve all heard too many times, now, you actually sound quite amusing.

    • He hasn’t claimed it only takes old foxes he is saying that during traditional fox hunting the weaker and older a fox is the more likely it is to be caught and the stronger a fox is the more likely it is to escape. I would have thought that is fairly obvious.

      “it is OVER” ummm they seemed to be having a pretty good time up on the moor yesterday. since when is it over? this morning?

      • al woodcock says:

        Well, I didn’t say that he stated that ‘traditional hunting’ ONLY takes the older and weaker foxes, “I would have thought that is fairly obvious” so no need to jump to conclusions there Mr Bradshaw!

        “It’s OVER! Mmmm. They used to hunt foxes, now they drag hunt, unless, of course, they were breaking the law this morning, “up on the moor”. It’s been ‘over’ since 2004, or can you not think back that far?

        If you MUST insist on attempting to be patronising, then at least get your facts straight first. It really will help you considerably, Mr Bradshaw!

  10. Lofty Lady says:

    I might add that the conservatives didn’t get full parliamentary control because they wanted to repeal this act. I didn’t vote for them because of their blood lust. Good luck to the Blue fox who have obviously read more up to date research than the outdated Burns report. It is nothing to do with the class issue either but people who have morals and care for the creatures that share their environment and that were here first before we built on their territories. In fact the working class terrier men are little better than our shared ancestors and think little of digging out foxes and throwing them to the hounds or threatening and inflicting physical abuse on elderly and disabled hunt monitors. As for hunting weak and injured foxes that is rubbish – a sick/old/injured fox would in no way give a days ” sport” to these hideous monsters on horseback/quad bike. The only reason there has not been more convictions for breaking the law is the old boys network and the money of the countryside alliance. If the ban is policed properly and not by volunteer monitors who are surely part of Scamerons Big Society (he supports volunteer services doesn’t he?) then the act would be an excellent piece of legislation.
    WTG BLUE FOX if you become the majority in the party then I might even vote for this currently ridiculous party but until then there are loads of us that won’t.
    I suggest anyone who is waivering on the issue of hunting to look up “cubbing” or “autumn hunting” to see what these ludicrous people get up to whilst trespassing and threatening farmers, landowners and innocent people who are trying to uphold the law.

  11. Hollie says:

    How on earth can a fox being chased for hours by dogs that are deliberatly breed to be slower than the fox (to prolong the chase) and eventually being torn apart by the hounds EVER be called humane.
    Also Foxhunting does not only pray on older weaker foxes – during the summer-autumn hunts traditionally go ‘cubbing’ praying on the young cubs who have barely had a chance to live and learn – just to train their young hounds!

    • Holly the average time from a fox being located by the hounds and it being killed or escaping is 18 minutes. Even when this time is longer it consists of a series of pursuits. Why talk about foxes being chased for hours when that doesn’t actually happen?

      • annethomson says:

        Rubbish, longest chase was over one hour and can 18 minutes of pain be humane.

      • to above the longest pursuit was 70 minutes but it was not clear if that was even the same fox all the time. That is because hunting consists of a series of flushes not one long chase as is alleged.

      • Hollie says:

        OK Hours is a little of an overstatement – but one point here is that they do not allow the fox to escape, if a fox finds refuge in an earth the terriermen dig them out and throw them to the hounds. So the only chance of the fox escaping in most cases is if the hounds lose the scent!
        The only humane methods of culling/controlling animals are those which do not cause any unnecessary suffering or anxiety – ie. shot to the head from a distance.

  12. John Lee says:

    We have heard it all before and no sensible, decent human being believes a word of your pathetic and offensive excuses for being cruel and killing for fun and enjoyment.
    You do not deserve to be in a position of power, or influence while holding such outrageous and outdated views.
    You are quite obviously maladjusted to the moral progress that has and is taking place throughout the world .
    I seriously think that you should seek professional help with your problem because society will not be repealing the demonstrably successful Hunting Act. And I thank goodness for that.
    (Almost 200 convictions to date)

  13. mhayworth says:

    Yes, without a doubt, cubbing is the most disgusting of all the hunt activities. No wonder they’ve tried to change the name to ‘Autumn Hunting’ rather than wear their shame in public. It certainly makes a mockery of their claim to take out ‘the old, the weak, and infirm’.

    A friend of mine runs a wildlife rescue and care facility. Whenever the orphaned cubs are ready for release back into the wild, we can’t help picturing Roger’s face in that photo above. The thought of what these thugs do to young animals (for fun!) is simply beyond all comprehension.

  14. Heidi says:

    I cannot believe we are still having this debate in our so-called civilised society. The hunting ban is inefficient as it has given many hunters loopholes to work around and flout the law. It needs to be strengthened.
    I just want to say to Giles Bradshaw, speaking for the whole of Devon, where on earth do you get your ridiculous statistics? I am born and bred in Devon and I find it hard to find anyone who believes hunting serves any purpose and I don’t recall ever being asked by the countryside alliance my opinion, even if I did I am positive it would have been ignored.
    Scientifically, hunting does not cull foxes and has been proven time and time again to be completely ineffective. Hunting is absolutely cruel-Do not try to criticise my intelligence by using the same old countryside alliance lies that foxes die instantly from a bite to the neck because I have seen a hunted fox and its death and it is far from quick and painless: I have heard the horrific cries and I have also had to rescue my own pets from out of control hounds.
    I am not a saboteur or monitor and I am not an animal rights nut, I just believe that hunting is cruel, outdated, barbaric and lets face it, if royalty and aristocracy didn’t participate in hunting and if it was not ingrained into our ruling classes history then it would be banned along with cock fighting. All of you who believe it is your right to kill animals as you please make me feel sick: you are no better than thugs using dogs for blood lust.

    • Heidi

      Stag hunting has a key role in the west country in the co- ordinated management of the red deer herd. The only bodyb that operates over such a wide area on the herds as a whole are the hunts. Other forms of control are innevitably only practiced in a fragmentary and uncoordiated manner.

      The fact is that without management the deer will suffer far far worse.

      • al woodcock says:

        ….But that ‘management’ can be done with a gun. All it takes is a properly trained marksman. NOT dogs. It really is as simple as that. One shot, ONE kill. really quick and easy, when you apply a bit of patience. Several could be culled in a day!!

        No ‘lingering deaths’ that these pros talk about. Who have they used as marksmen, monkeys?

      • It won’t let me reply to your comment Al – nested too deep. Yes of course guns have a place but I will not allow marksmen on my land and I know many landowners who feel the same. I have children who might be building dens etc and I consider it dangerous. In actual fact many deer are not killed with the first shot and have to be followed up. LACS recognise this. The problem is that in an area like Devon with small farms that marksman may not have permission to follow the deer onto the land to which it has run. It’s all very well saying that things are simple but actually they are not.

        I use an alternative to shooting which involves just chasing the deer with dogs. In my opinion in my circumstances it is kinder.

      • annethomson says:

        Crop control, what book do you spout this from, are you one of those townies who now live in the country and read the “townie cross code”.
        I don’t think you are a farmer and have probably never grown more that cress on a dish.
        Roe Deer were hunted to extinction in our past and we had to import them , oh and that happened to foxes too. Have you heard the name Reynard, that’s french for fox, as all our foxes were imported when all gone and oh yes , the hunts started breeding them , read your history, know your countryside or move back to town where you belong.

      • Heidi says:

        Oh don’t give me that! I am not one of the countryside alliance’s brainwashed minions, easy to convince with utter lies and nonsense! Using animal welfare as an excuse for your own bloodlust is just ludicrous. I have seen the utter destruction of a hunt when they have killed a stag! You do not kill animals in that method for control, you do it because you enjoy the finery of putting on your pinks and galloping round and pretending you are all still feudal overlords. You do it because it becomes ingrained in your psyche to hate the fox and stag and hare. You do it because you enjoy it. Why not be honest about it!?
        These arguments that hunting is part of wildlife management are new arguments that you (at the countryside alliance) have spun to try and attempt to convince people you are doing a job! It is not a job! They are part of your pathetic ploy to patronise people into believing you are helping wildlife. Do you know what, I have seen a stag die? It is horrific. Not only did the poor animal suffer for far too long (not instant death) but I actually saw a hunter come along and with the realisation that not only they were being watched by horrified passersby but the realisation that this animal was going to die a long painful death and he shot the deer. After all that chasing and ripping of flesh the hunter did the right thing? Don’t try to play the moral card to someone who KNOWS what goes on in hunts.

  15. Maria E Prior says:

    Thanks to your ludicrous post Mr Helmer, you have helped gain the Blue Fox more support!!!! You clearly find them a threat to have even written this in the first place. The facts are Mr Helmer, is that a majority of the general public, including the majority of Tories, oppose hunting, and support the Hunting Act! You are there to serve the majority, not your own selfish views! Because of pro hunt Tories, including the PM, I, and others believe it is why we have a Coalition government now, instead of a Consrvative one! Reflect on that! You may be an MEP instead of a MP, but you are still meant to represent the majority!

    • Mria I think most people would agree it is wrong to be deliberately cruel to a wild mammal – so why not have a law that makes it illegal without exemption. That is exactly what Lord Donoughue’s proposed ‘middle way’ legislation does. It makes all deliberate actions that cause undue suffering to a wild mammal illegal. Why does CAFH and LACS oppose this?

      • Maria E Prior says:

        Giles, can you not, at least, get my name right? And, if you support legislation that makes it illegal to be deliberately cruel to any wildlife, what are you on about? That’s what the Hunting Act is there for! You seem to ‘troll’ around, talking nonsense, as everyone knows! And, Mr Helmer has you as a ‘fan’? We anti hunters, rest our case!!!!!

  16. Tory says:

    All this talk of whether it’s ‘humane’ or ‘cruel’ is evidently vacuous: the fact of the matter is that what constitutes ‘cruel’ in this context is entirely subjective; for every urban-dweller that peddles the old ‘cruelty’ line there’s another who vehemently contests that assertion.

    As that’s the case, it seems to me that by banning fox hunting, or supporting the ban, we’re doing nothing but substantiating the subjective whims of one minority on another: that is tyranny and autocratic whatever spin you put on it. If you don’t like fox hunting then don’t fox hunt: there’s absolutely no need to impinge the liberties of others with your own sense of what is right or wrong.

    • Hi Tory I do think that cruelty should be illegal however it should have to be proved that someone is being cruel. There is a simple way to achieve this – have a law that defines cruelty and makes it illegal without exemption.

      • Tory says:

        And how on earth do you do that? ‘Cruelty’ is a qualification, you can’t quantify it (if you can, please tell me how much ‘cruelty’ is in this post. What’s your criterion for measuring such a thing?)

        How do you ‘prove’ a subjective qualification so that its objective? By saying ‘have a law that defines cruelty’ you’re doing nothing but reaffirming my point: that you’re essentially supporting the dictatorial imposition of one subjective value, devised by a minority, onto the whole of society. That’s autocratic.

  17. Nigel Robertson says:

    Fox hunting is fun, Great fun. As you say a scent trail is just not the same.

    So the claim that you do it as a kindness to the fox population or out of duty for ‘management’ is just dishonesty I’m afraid.

    The objection, obviously, is that humans should do it to entertain themselves. Terrorise an animal for several hours and then finally watch it run to exhaustion and killed. For fun.

    • Nobody ever claimed that fox-hunting is done “as a kindness to the fox population”. It is done for sport. But it remains the most humane and selective culling method available.

      • Nigel Robertson says:

        The objection is to people finding it a ‘sport’.

        The moral issue is human beings doing it for FUN.

        That is what the rest of us find unacceptable.

        As would you, if it were some other animal.

        If you saw the fox as an animal like other animals, then the sight of fifty people with fifty dogs surrounding one in a wood, shouting and thrilled with the excitement of trying to kill it, you’d be appalled too.

  18. Nigel Robertson says:

    Oh and let me invite you to describe CUBBING.

    And say what happens to the foxhounds when they get to four or five and a bit too old.

  19. mhayworth says:

    What a brave person you are Tory. So entrenched are your beliefs that you back them up with your own name.

    While you are on the subject about impinging on liberties, you might stop to consider the liberty of the fox – or didn’t that occur to you?

    • al woodcock says:

      Tory. whilst I agree completely that Labour have a spiteful little ‘habit’ of banning anything and everything they didn’t approve of, and thank God, the Coalition are reversing these disgusting, dictatorial, laws, the fox hunting ‘issue’ was always about ‘animal rights’ not ‘human rights’! The subject of the hunt ban has/had been around for many years, way before Labour’s recent time in office. It’s just a shame that Blair couldn’t decide where his loyalties lay and left loopholes, after a discussion with a pro hunt lady!!! (shame he couldn’t have had a chat with an Iraqi lady, or an Afghani lady before he attacked the Middle East!)

      Although I the very term ‘animal rights’ can be misinterpreted, I mean, do animals actually have ‘rights’? I’m not sure, but they do, at the very least, have the right to be treated without cruelty, by us, as human animals. We have a moral responsibility NOT to make animals suffer by cruelty in any way. There are laws against such cruelty and the likes of the RSPCA and other animal welfare organisations work tirelessly to protect them.

      It’s the ‘enjoyment’ of the hunt that is frequently described by the hunting fraternity that I find repugnant.
      I’m not sure that they actually enjoy the kill, but if we’re to act ‘responsibly’ toward our wildlife population then chasing across the countryside until their quarry is despatched by a pack of hounds in a bloodthirsty frenzy being doesn’t seem to fit the bill. Even if the quarry is killed by a ‘quick nip’, the aftermath is pretty messy and unnecessary. If we’re to be responsible and perhaps a little more discreet and ‘clinical’ about the way in which some species are culled for their own good and for the sake of conservation, then this is certainly not the way to go about it. Would you want to know that your steak had been slaughtered by dogs with a crowd of slaughtermen watching excitedly before it arrives, nicely packaged at the supermarket? Of course not. it’s about discretion and there is no discretion in the act hunting with hounds and all the commotion that goes with it!

      So, I think we should keep the ban, tighten the loopholes and cull these animals by the gun. Done by professional marksmen, not by some ‘have a go’, moron, which is often the case, hence the wounded animals. Quick, discreet, over quickly, more efficient and FAR more productive. There is, of course, a point of safety, and certain areas where it would be dangerous to shoot without the risk of a stray bullet hitting the wrong target. A solution to this is baiting a ‘safe’ area. a necessary ‘evil’ but done discreetly and without fuss!

      • Tory says:

        You’re just emoting on a subject that you find quite distasteful, and in so doing you’re prepared to impinge the fancies and predilections of others simply because you subjectively deem it to be ‘wrong’. Why oh why can’t you people see that this autocratic?

        You talk about ‘cruelty’ but what constitutes such a thing in this context is arbitrarily devised. You can’t legislate on the basis of subjective and arbitrary whims.

    • Tory says:

      My God man, I can see it now! When the illustrious Thomas Jefferson penned the declaration of independence and uttered those immortal lines:

      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

      He included all manner of beasts and creatures. No, my friend, the ‘liberty of the fox’ did not occur to me because it is an utter chimera.

      The foolishness of some people is truly staggering.

      • mhayworth says:

        Tory, I wasn’t speaking of liberty in the legal or political sense. Get a grip.

        I’m always amazed how few of these arguments appeared re: certain groups imposing their will on other groups, when bear baiting or dog fighting was banned.

      • Al Woodcock says:

        ‘Tory’, you really do talk utter BOLLOCKS!!!!!

        I’d love to know which planet it is that you descended upon us from!

        I don’t think quoting Thomas Jefferson is going to make you look clever and, frankly, I couldn’t give a toss what he said way back then.

        One thing though, he hated slavery and I expect people like you would abhor the idea of it being banned. As I said, we have a moral duty to look after our wildlife, and hunting it down with hounds for ‘fun’ is barbaric, whether YOU like it or not, especially when there is the alternative way, as I described, meaning that your preferred way is unnecessary

        It will probably surprise you to know that I am certainly NOT a labour supporter, either!

      • Al Woodcock says:

        Not at all. I am merely saying that there is an alternative to hunting with hounds, but you just seem to be happy to bleat on about it being wrong to legislate on the grounds of the will of one group upon another. Well, that’s called democracy, my friend! A minority of people hunt and a majority don’t, and 75% of the population are against it then, if a decision is to be made as to whether it remains banned or not, then the majority, I’m afraid should have their way!

        That way the minority, as in, those who used to enjoy dog fights and bear bating etc,must accept that it is the overall will of the people to see an and to it. seems fair to me!!!!!!

        It’s not as if I am saying that foxes should be left alone entirely, if there is a need to cull, then a cull is necessary.

        I think it’s just a shame that this is a political issue!

  20. Tory says:

    More emoting and no substance. Your post, Al, translates as: ‘I’m right, you’re wrong and that’s that’.

    • mhayworth says:

      I am so tired of hearing minorities winging about their rights in this country to the detriment of all others. We now accept ritual slaughter as mainstream practice, we are so afraid of the corrupt EU regime that we will soon allow prisoners to vote, we harbour and protect every criminal from every other country, we allow our government to increase foreign aid to obscene amounts (which simply supports dictators) without any accountability, we bail out banks and reward failure in other Euro countries – the list is endless. It is about time the majority of decent, law abiding, tax-paying people had a voice in this country. Your fox-hunting minority is rapidly becoming the biggest winger of them all.

  21. Tory says:

    No, Al, it’s called ‘tyranny’, more specifically, ‘tyranny of the majority’ – democratic tyranny is still tyrannical regardless of whether it’s mandated by popular will.

    You’re a tyrant and an autocrat because you’d quite happily forcibly impose your subjective whims on others. I wish conservatives would wake up and realise that this is dictatorial.

  22. mhayworth says:

    Well Tory, I don’t happen to like child molesters roaming the streets and it would seem most of the population agrees. Many child molesters actually believe they are not harming children and sadly some even say they love them. None of us could prove cruelty from a scientific perspective, but we can say that morally, we know it to be wrong. Is that tryannical in your view? Should we make it legal to fit your concept of liberty?

    Do you not see any case for morality when it comes those who don’t have a voice – particularly children and animals? Do you not feel any duty of care to those beings you feel superior to – even if it is just to lessen their misery?

    • Tory says:

      And I’m equally tired of this inability to understand what tyranny is.

      No supporter of fox hunting is asking for a ‘right’ or ‘entitlement’ as you’re suggesting, what they are justly complaining about is their freedom to engage in a practice they’ve long enjoyed being taken away from them, and it seems to have been taken away on a subjective whim. Ergo, what we’ve seen is the imposition of one subjective belief to coerce others with a dissenting view – that is tyranny.

      Quite frankly, you’re an incredibly facile and infantile man to liken fox hunting to child molestation – as if to say that the imposition of ones will onto another person is analogous to hunting a wild animal. Unbelievable.

      • mhayworth says:

        Here we go again Tory. I didn’t liken foxhunting to child molesting at all. I merely took your logic about the majority imposing thier views and beliefs on minorities and used it in a different context. I was trying to show you that your concepts of tyranny and liberty are incredibly selective. No surprise there!

        This isn’t about hunting a wild animal either. It is about the prolonged suffering of a wild animal due to the method of the hunt.

  23. Nigel Robertson says:

    OK Roger doesn’t want to say what Cubbing is, not surprising when you read this:

    Because the hounds have no natural instinct to kill foxes, they have to be trained by being taken out from August to October with older dogs and set onto young fox cubs, 5-7 months old. A small wood is surrounded by hunters on horseback and on foot, and the hounds are sent in to attack the cubs. If a young fox tries to escape, the hunters slap their saddles and shout to terrify the animal back to the hounds.

    • al woodcock says:

      Unfortunately, Nigel, Roger isn’t the slightest bit interested in what cubbing is, nor indeed whether fox hunting with hounds is morally right or wrong. He is interested in the fact that a minority of people have been told that they can’t hunt foxes with hounds, in the traditional way, any more.

      I think the trouble Roger (‘Tory’, I assume) has, is that he doesn’t like being told what to do, or not to do, in this case. It’s something he’s simply not used to, unlike those of us who live in the ‘real world’, of course, who are constantly being pushed around, especially by the EU these days.

      I think it’s a really refreshing change to see the ‘Blue Fox’ Conservatives standing their ground against something they disapprove of so strongly. It shows that they, too, won’t be pushed around, Roger, and good for them!

      • Nigel Robertson says:

        Well Al for me I try not to get too polarised about it, that makes it easier for the first recourse of defenders of the indefensible – to start talking about something else!

        People who hunt are in the main very pleasant and animal lovers.

        The trick is the agile human mind, telling each other that the fox is different from other animals and can be excluded from normal empathy.

        As otter hunters did not many years ago.

        But of course the fox is a native wild dog, member of the species canidae.

    • mhayworth says:

      Quite true Nigel. The late Duke of Beaufort said it all really :

      “Never lose sight of the fact that one really well-beaten cub killed fair and square is worth half a dozen fresh ones killed the moment they are found without hounds having to set themselves to the task. It is essential that hounds should have their blood up and learn to be savage with their fox before he is killed.”

  24. Maria E Prior says:

    So! Where is Mr Helmer now? Why does he not respond to the latest comments? They, mainly, show him for the ‘sad’ person he really is! Out of touch with decency!!! Mr Helmer, thanks to your post, you have increased support for the Blue Fox! I fully support them, as a Tory, who, in line with the majority of Tories, support the Hunting Act!

    • Thank you Maria. I’ve said my piece, and I see little point in continuing a debate with prejudiced and repetitive people with closed minds. As my old mother used to say, “There’s none so blind as those who won’t see”.

      • Nigel Robertson says:

        Sorry Roger but I don’t think you’ve said anything about cubbing/autumn hunting.

        What do you think about it? Cubbing specifically?

        Let your constituents see some straight talking about it.

      • Maria E Prior says:

        You, Mr Helmer, is the one who is ‘blind’, and prejudiced, for not seeing the evidence of your own eyes!!!! Us, the majority, who oppose your vile so called sport! It’s people like you that will destroy any future good reputation of the Conservative Party, with your outdated views! And, I say this as a Tory myself! Remember, because of the PM’s pro hunt views, it may well be that’s why we now have a Coalition government instead of a Conservative one!!

    • Tory says:

      Maria, you’re not a ‘Tory’: you’re a socialist, a control freak, a mini Hitler, a lover of tyranny. You salivate at the thought of a tyranny of the majority: you seem to love the idea of coercing others to your own subjective whims.

      • Maria E Prior says:

        Tory, or whatever your name is, when I saw your post about me, I amost couldn’t stop laughing! So, I am really a ‘ Socialist, control freak, mini hitler, and a lover of tyranny!!’ Oh, and I coerce others into ‘my way of thinking!!’ When my friends see this they will find it hilarious! First of all, I can assure you I am a Tory, and supporter of the ‘Conservatives Against Fox Hunting’, and am very well known for that! Let me remind you that a majority of the public, including the majority of Tory voters, are anti hunt, which is why the Blue Fox are there, which is to represent the majority!

        And, your childish ‘rant’ over your other name calling just shows you up for what you really are! A sad, pro hunter, who cannot accept the facts as they are! Who has to coerce anyone? People can think for themselves! And, a majority think your so called sport is vile, and don’t want it legalised! So, get over it, get a life, and stop acting like a twit!!!!!

      • Majority rules? says:

        So Maria backs giving what the majority wants?I assume she only knows what the majority wants based on polls? In which case does she support capital punishment? I mean she must – after polls show that is what teh public want. So foxes musnt die but she must support state sponsored execution?

        Of course she may say that she only supports what the majority wants – if she is part of that majority. When she is in the minority – she may support minority rights?

        An easy question to answer.

  25. Tory says:

    If you’re using child molestation as an analogy to show the supposed absurdity of my position, then you are, of course, likening the two: don’t you understand what example by analogy is?

    Nobody has managed to successfully rebut my points on this page; everyone that supports this ban have shown what true little Hitler’s they really are. Lovers of tyranny all and plenty.

    • Nigel Robertson says:

      It’s not about tyranny and freedom, It’s about our collective human behaviour and the way we agree morals.

      Suppose you saw a group of people setting dogs on a cat.

      Would you think you had to give them the freedom to carry on?

      That’s the position most of us are in. We don’t see this crucial difference between foxes and all other animals.

      • Tory says:

        Nigel, you’re so clueless that you don’t realise that you’ve just expounded a philosophy of tyranny: you’ve just said that ‘humans’ (who exactly? You are your clique?) agree on ‘morality’ (what is ‘right’ or what is ‘wrong’?) and legislate accordingly; i.e., you legislate in order to coerce others (yes, that means impinging of their liberty and freedom) so as to substantiate YOUR idea what is [subjectively] ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

        Well, I’m afraid Nigel that that is tyrannical. Government has no place in legislating on such subjective whims.

        And Nigel, the point is people do realise the difference between fox hunting and the example you give. Your examples are specious; it’s not even an example of hunting.

  26. Nigel Robertson says:

    Mmmm Tory well I can’t help noticing that you want to talk about tyranny and not about fox hunting!

    What about my question?

    If you saw a group of people setting dogs on a cat, would you think you had to allow them the freedom to carry on? By the sound of it, NO. Is that correct?

    Then what is the difference? It’s not ‘hunting’ is it? The cat-killers are doing it for fun, just like you.

    So what’s the difference between the cat and the fox?

    • Tory says:

      No it isn’t hunting, and there ends your specious analogoy. The fox & the cat are the descriptive, where’s the qualification? Unbelievable.

      • Nigel Robertson says:

        Killing a fox for fun is the same as killing a cat for fun.

        Calling one ‘hunting’ doesn’t help.

        Or if you think it does, please explain…

  27. Tory says:

    Well one is hunting and the other isn’t, that’s the point; I haven’t arbitrarily called one hunting over the other.

    They aren’t the same so this emotive line:

    “Killing a fox for fun is the same as killing a cat for fun”

    Is utterly vacuous.

    • Nigel Robertson says:

      But ‘cat hunting’ wouldn’t catch on, would it? Even though it could be great sport.

      People would think it was wrong.

      So what’s the difference?

  28. Nigel Robertson says:

    But Tory the point is that everyone agrees it *would be* wrong to hunt cats.

    Whereas with foxes some people think it’s right and some think it’s wrong.

    So what’s the difference? Between foxes and cats.

    • Tory says:

      Not ‘everyone agrees’ hunting foxes is ‘wrong’; despite you claim, your analogy does not demonstrate reductio ad absurdum: yours is an argument from emotion – why not substitute ‘hunting cats’ with ‘hunting rats’? Would everyone think that’s ‘wrong’? Do you, Nigel that by changing the subject the emotive meaning of the proposition changes drastically? Yes, this is how rational individual’s reason: try and think critically, Nigel. So, is hunting rats ‘wrong’? It’s an utterly irrelevant question: it’s still one section of society imposing their subjective whims on others and as there is no substantial basis for hunting foxes to anything to do with cats your point is totally inane.

      • Nigel Robertson says:

        I didn’t say everyone agrees hunting foxes is wrong, Tory, I said that some do and some don’t.

        I said everyone agrees it would be wrong to hunt CATS.

        Do we agree on that? There will be the odd exception obviously, but broadly speaking.

        And didn’t we agree earlier that you would impose your will on a group of people setting dogs on a cat?

        The reason I chose cats is that they are similar in size and intelligence to a fox, so in principle we should be able to identify with them to a similar extent.

        So I thought you and I had reached agreement that it was not about tyranny, because you yourself would limit the freedom of others in some circumstances.

        Roger has agreed that foxhunting is for sport and not done out of duty or necessity.

        So we agree on quite a lot really.

        What I’m trying to understand now is your perception that it’s OK to do things to a fox that are not OK to do to a cat. A feral cat, let’s say.

        I’m not saying they’re identical, obviously, but morally speaking why should we hunt one and not the other?

  29. Tory says:

    You’re constructing an emotive argument – substitute ‘cat’ for ‘rat’, ‘frog’, ‘lizard’ or any other less emotionally charged creature.

    The reason you based this emotive proposition on a cat is that it induces an emotional response because cats are pets, and pets are humanised. I refer you back to my original comment; believe me, Nigel, this facile line of argument really isn’t all that sophisticated: to argue from emotion is to commit a logical fallacy.

    Tyranny has everything to do with it because to ban fox hunting is to do so on a sectional subjective whim: that is coercion and impinges on the liberty of others. I’ve repudiated your ‘cat analogy’ as nothing more than an argument from emotion; the analogy is fallacious.

    • Nigel Robertson says:

      Well I did specify ‘feral’ cat Tory, and obviously there is a scale of animal characteristics that we humans identify with. So clearly rats and frogs are not equivalent to foxes, whereas cats are.

      The whole issue is emotional and subjective, it’s all about the emotions hunters feel with the thrill of the chase and the emotions others feel when they empathise with the quarry. So let’s not start claiming your case is objective. We are all in the same boat on that one.

      And I’m not drawing an analogy either, it’s an example. And example of when YOU would ban hunting – if it were cat-hunting. Quite rightly of course.

      A feral cat is a wild cat, a fox is a wild canid related to a dog, which is also a pet. So it seems quite a close match to me.

      But if being directly a pet species is the key difference, how about an otter? Would you grant others the freedom to set dogs on an otter, these days?

      Or a badger? Koala bear?

      Where’s the line, for you? And on what basis do you decide?

  30. Tory says:

    Your qualification means nothing: you’re still constructing an emotive argument – it fails because it’s an argument from emotion.

    Nigel, you clearly don’t understand what ‘humanise’ means – and an analogy is a line of reasoning by example. God, it’s like talking to a child.

    This is the problem with democracies: the clueless mob dictates to us all and propels the discord of tyranny; it’s truly terrifying.

    • Nigel Robertson says:

      Mmmm, I can’t help noticing that childlike recourse to insult as your argument fails, Tory :))

      ‘Emotive’ does not address the point. You were misusing ‘analogy’ to evade my question. So ‘example’ is better:

      Take cats as an example.

      You would ban hunting of cats, true or false?

      Man up and admit ‘true’ and then we can go from there.

      To otters for example.

      • Tory says:

        I repeat:

        Your qualification means nothing: you’re still constructing an emotive argument – it fails because it’s an argument from emotion.

        Nigel, you clearly don’t understand what ‘humanise’ means – and an analogy is a line of reasoning by example. God, it’s like talking to a child.

        This is the problem with democracies: the clueless mob dictates to us all and propels the discord of tyranny; it’s truly terrifying.

  31. Nigel Robertson says:

    Wow so you just repeated your post Tory?

    Your already empty post tossing a few words around to make it look like you have an extended vocabulary.

    How do you think that looks?

    It looks like is you’re doing something you cannot defend in reasoned discussion.

    Same for you Roger.

    • Tory says:

      I repeated myself because I’ve adequately address your points. How can I have a discussion with someone who fails to understand what an analogy is?

      Your emotional argument is that to hunt foxes is analogous to hunt cats; hunting cats is deemed wrong (which of course is you subjective opinion), therefore hunting with foxes is wrong; you’re so foolish that you don’t realise that the only conclusion of your line of reasoning is that the act of hunting in itself is wrong, but then you can only ever substantiate that claim on the premise that this is your opinion. It’s a flawed analogy and you’ve used the subject ‘cat’ to emotionally leverage your proposition. This I’ve adequately explained and adequately repudiated: it’s up to you to accept that.

      • Nigel Robertson says:

        No Tory you have not addressed my points. As so often in these arguments the pro-hunting defence quickly descends into obfuscation and deceit.

        You’ve dodged a string of pertinent questions.

        You argue that it’s ‘tyranny’ to ban foxhunting but you won’t answer the question whether you yourself would ban cat hunting.

        You obviously would, unless you’re a terrierman perhaps, so why not admit it?

        Answer – you know where the admission would lead and it doesn’t suit you.

        Your activity is one that you cannot defend it in an honest and straightforward way. Otherwise you would at least try.

  32. Maria E Prior says:

    This is a comment for ‘Majority rules’, whoever that is! Why can’t people, if they are so sure of themselves, use their real name? It is a fact, and I have always made this clear, is that politicians are elected, as are governments, by the majority vote. They are there to serve the majority, and not themselves. Many are aware that the PM’s pro hunt stance upset many Tory voters, who are mostly anti hunt, so they abstained from voting, as I did. That is why we may now have a Coalition government, instead of a Conservative one!

    Your daft so called comparrison to hanging is ridiculous, and childish! We are addressing the hunting issue here! And, you can hardly refer to pro hunters as some kind of ‘downtrodden’ minority group, that is ‘hard done by’! Hunting is cruel, and not acceptable in this modern society, and most people support that. If you want to talk about hanging, then I suggest to go to an appropriate site!

  33. Majority rules? says:

    Maria – you are the one who suggests pro hunters are in the minority, and ergo teh majority viewpoint should prevail, so when I present you with a case where the majority viewpoint disagrees with your perspective you clearly suggest the minority viewpoint should win.

    You are naive beyond believe to suggest politicians are thee just to represent the majority. WRONG. They are there to represent everyone. If you can’t understand that Im afraid you don’t understand democracy. Every heard of the tyranny of the majority? Do a bit of reading. If you do believe in the majority gets whatever they want, then welcome back capital punishment, for polls consistently over the last few decades have supported its reintroduction to the UK, whether YOU like it or not.

    Do you understand that an opinion is different to a fact and your opinions do not equate to facts.

    You probably dont.

    • Maria E Prior says:

      To ‘Majority rules’, who continues to hide behind a fake name, instead of being open!

      How on earth can you state that it is I who suggest pros are a minority? No, it is the Fact that 76% of the public that are anti hunt, that suggests that!!!! And, what case exactly do you have when you say the majority are pros? I think you may be living in Fairyland here! The trouble with people like you, and Mr Helmer is you cannot stand the fact that most of the public find fox hunting abhorent! Imagine if it were the other way round, and the majority of the public supported hunting. You you would use it then! Wouldn’t you? Well, tough! It’s not! Accept it, and move on!

      Politicians are elected by the majority vote. That’s democracy! As for your comments, again, about capital punishment, may I remind you, again, that you are on the wrong site for that.

      What so called facts are you talking about? Your opinion that hunting is not cruel? Yawn!!!!!

  34. Nice point here. Maria supports the majority, but only when it agrees with her. And the key point is that the anti-hunting position is “soft”, while the pro-hunting position is strong — which is why the anti-hunters struggle to get a handful at a demonstration, while the pro-side could field nearly half a million.

    • mhayworth says:

      Actually Roger, you’d be surprised at the number of people who support the anti-hunt campaign who were on that ‘countryside march’ and were duped by the Countryside Alliance into believing it was about a whole range of rural issues. They were so angry that the hunts portrayed everyone there as being sympathetic to their cause and turned it into a media event about one single issue. There was also a lengthy campaign of bullying that led up to the march, where people were ostrasized in their own communities and clubs if they didn’t join in. Even young girls in pony clubs have told us their membership was threatened. Again, no surprise considering the air of superiority the hunts portray when it comes to the law (40,000 signing a pledge to ignore it), to the rights of landowners and villagers, and of course to the hounds they dispose of like trash when no longer of ‘use’ or the terriors they harm that are abused merely as ‘tools’ for digging out. That’s without even mentioning what you do to foxes.

    • Maria E Prior says:

      Mr Helmer! Thought you had said there was little point in continuing the debate? Here you are again! You say we have ‘closed minds’! What is yours then? Open? I think not.

      Can you please explain your comment that I support the majority, ‘but only when it agrees with me’? Have absolutely no idea what that is supposed to mean, and neither does anyone else!

      Why are you also supporting a comment by someone who doesn’t even use their real name? (Majority rule)? Do you know who this person is then? Do enlighten us, if so!

      As for your remark about anti hunting being ‘soft’, but pro hunting ‘strong’, I think the comment by mhayworth answers that perfectly! You see, Mr Helmer, anti hunt people are compassionate, and oppose the cruelty of hunting, whilst many pro hunters are ruthless, who are determined to continue their vile sport! Is that your opinion as to what soft and strong mean?

      Once again, thanks to your ridiculous remarks, you are boosting support for the Blue Fox! You have only shown yourself up as an out of touch, pompous, arrogant person! You do no favours for the Conservative Party!

  35. Nigel Robertson says:

    I can see, Roger, that hunters feel oppressed by the ban, and the ‘tyranny of the majority’, but for me you should consider the arguments rather than focus on the political aspects.

    It is a moral argument.

    And the question that you all struggle to answer is: “what is different about the fox?”

    You do things to foxes that would outrage you if inflicted on any other animal.

    The difference with us antis is simply that we do not make this exemption for foxes from the general perception of cruelty.

    Otherwise our morality is very much the same.

    So I think you should listen. The process is very much the same as with other progress in our empathy with animals.

    It’s not so long since ‘big game hunting’ was a heroic thing, after all, and otter-hunting was commonplace.

    So you should listen, in my opinion, to people outside the hunting community. If you only talk to each other you will always think your particular cruelty is alright.

    But it isn’t. These days foxes are OK.

    Terrorising and killing them is a bad way to have fun.

  36. al woodcock says:

    I think ‘Tory’ needs to be mindful that his use of the word ‘tryanny’ actually cuts both ways. If you look at the attitude of these hunts folk and their ‘tyrannical’ attitude and arrogant disregard for anybody who gets in their way out in the field, is as tyrannical and as the very people he complains about.

    • Tory says:

      The mob tries to reason again: you’re using ‘tyrannical’ as a personal attribute – my mum can be ‘tyrannical’ at times, but ‘tyranny’ has a political meaning, and in this instance it applies to those that coerce others to conform to their subjective whims.

      • Nigel Robertson says:

        You’re not going to answer this Tory but I’m going to expose that evasion…

        If you saw someone excessively beating a horse, would you intervene?

  37. Tory says:

    It’s not pertinent to ask whether those that support fox hunting would also support cat hunting: it’s a non sequitur in your inane attempt to present a slippery slope argument (

    The two are distinct and are not logically related – you’re trying to claim that by advocating one of type of hunting you must necessarily support all types of hunting – are you really so dumb as to believe that to be the case? Can’t you see that there’s no necessary condition there at all? If one defends fox hunting must they all necessarily support – in your rhetorical ploy – ‘cat hunting’? Why not tiger hunting as well?

    This is why coercion through democracy is such a dangerous thing.

  38. Tory says:

    Nigel, that’s what we call in informal logic a ‘red herring’

    • Nigel Robertson says:

      Answer the question Tory.

      If it’s a red herring, why not just say?

      Yes you would, or
      No you wouldn’t.

      Personally I’d tyrannise the bastard 🙂

      • Tory says:

        It’s a logical fallacy, Nigel – your line of reasoning is flawed, if it’s flawed why answer such an inane question?

        This is why democracy is such a flawed system of government.

  39. Tory says:

    Maria supports a tyranny of the majority:

    She’s a control freak, a despot, a lover of tyranny, a hater of individualism & a demagogue.

    The freedoms and enjoyed liberties of dissenting individuals are curtailed in favour of the whims of self-styled moral panjandrums. Danton & Robespierre would be proud.

    • Maria E Prior says:

      Tory, or whoever! I see you are still ranting with your insults against me! Is that supposed to be a pro hunt argument then? If it is, then I am thankful that I am an anti, as most people are! And normal!!!!!

      I suggest you calm down, and try and act with a bit of dignity! People like you also show your so called cause up!

  40. Nigel Robertson says:

    No you have not answered my question Tory.

    It’s no good presenting yourself as being ever so clever if you also appear dishonest and evasive.

    So answer the question:

    If you saw someone excessively beating a horse, would you intervene?

    • Tory says:

      It’s like conversing with a child: I’ll spoon feed you and if you still insist I ‘answer the question’ then I’ll just have to retreat in the knowledge that you’re simply not intelligent enough for this sort of discussion.

      ‘Informal fallacies’

      An informal fallacy is an argument whose stated premises fail to support their proposed conclusion. The deviation in an informal fallacy often stems from a flaw in the path of reasoning that links the premises to the conclusion.

      ‘Ignoratio elenchi’

      Ignoratio elenchi is the informal fallacy of presenting an argument that may in itself be valid, but does not address the issue in question. Similar in category, but with darker implications than ignoratio elenchi a “red herring” is an answer, given in reply to a questioner, that goes beyond an innocent logical irrelevance. A red herring is a deliberate attempt to divert a process of enquiry by changing the subject.

      This is why I will not answer your vapid question.

    • mhayworth says:

      I suspect Tory is Roger’s imaginary friend here. Why else would someone so overly impressed with himself not use their real name when commenting?

      • Nigel Robertson says:

        Heh, well to be fair I *think* Roger has a good bit more to him than Tory.

        Though I’m posting to readers at large of course (if there are any 🙂 ) not in any hope of changing that particular mind.

        But yeah the name, well it could be anyone with something to hide. You’d imagine a politician would choose a genuine-looking fake name though, at least…

  41. Majority Rule says:

    Maria, sorry but you don’t get it do you. I will speak slowly. You percentage for who doesn’t want hunting is an opinion poll. Yes or no?

    From it you say that a majority don’t want hunting.

    Well a majorty of people in all opinion polls on capital punishment have expressed a view in favour of its return.

    Using your flawed logic of doing everything the majority want you get banned hunting and capital punishment.

    That is unless what you really mean is you want politicians to do what you want, not just what the majority wants.

    • Nigel Robertson says:

      Haha, honestly, capital punishment??

      It’s about the way you behave when you HUNT FOXES.

      Nothing else. You can’t defend it, that’s why you’re trying to turn the conversation to something else.

      • Someone else who cant address a sensible point. Yes or no.. do you believe that what a majority wants should be implemented as law? For that’s the clear point being made by Maria.. in which case you would have no fox hunting – clearly what you want, and also capital punishment.

        So you tell me Nigel – when you are in a minority should YOU be ignored?

      • Maria E Prior says:

        Hello Nigel!
        Who is this fake ‘person’ ‘Majority rules’, when they are at home??? And, what rubbish they talk!
        This person claims that it is the pros who are the majority, but won’t answer my question as to how they deduce this! Nor will this person answer my point that if it were the majority who supported hunting, instead of being anti, they would be posting this all over the place! Because, it doesn’t ‘go their’ way, they come out with nonsense like ‘capital punishment’! What has that got to do with this issue?
        We are here to protect the welfare of these wild animals, and it is illegal to be cruel to animals. The concern for animal welfare is not ‘flawed logic’ as this person suggests, but one of morality, and decency!
        With friends like this one, and ‘Tory’, standing up for Mr Helmer, I don’t think the Blue Fox has anything to worry about!! They are a great asset to our cause with their drivel!!

  42. Nigel Robertson says:

    There are times when the majority is right, and times when it’s wrong.

    As an issue it doesn’t illuminate the foxhunting debate, since almost every member of every hunt abhors other cruelty to animals and would BAN it in an instant.

    So the principle of banning is not in play.

    As well you know, but, I suspect, are not about to admit 🙂

  43. You will find I have never expressed a view on hunting and I would undoubtedly surprise you with my views. The point I have been making which Maria will not admit she is wrong is that the argument about “what a majority want” is a dangerous card to play as the majority want capital punishment and undoubtedly she does not.

    Ergo you cant use the majority argument to back a case if then when presented with a case you disagree with, suddenly you don’t want what the majority want.

    Also she does not accept that under the current electoral system MPs only have to get 1 more vote than their nearest opponent – and therefore her claim that as an elected representative they were elected by the majority is also factually incorrect. You could quite conceivable have 4 candidates expressing pro hunt views who get 10,000 votes and one with anti hunt views gets 10,001 and they are elected. Of votes cast 40,000 voted for candidates for hunting 10,001 against. By the same token it could also work in the anti hunting favour too. I accept that absolutely.

    What I do not accept is the weak argument about what the majority want, which has been put forward.

    • Nigel Robertson says:

      Well I don’t know why you’re cluttering up this blog with irrelevant point-scoring, then. This is the internet; Maria is not going to admit she’s wrong and the rest of us aren’t interested. Why not go to a politics forum?

      • Im a constituent of Roger Helmers… are you? “The rest of us aren’t interested”.. Oh the arrogance of you speaking for all the readers o this blog. Speaks volumes

    • Maria E Prior says:

      Yawn! 75% of the public oppose hunting!!! What’s so difficult to understand about that? And, you claim you are a constituent of Mr Helmer’s? Bully for you!

    • Maria E Prior says:

      Yawn! 75% of the public oppose hunting!!! What’s so difficult to understand about that? And, you claim you are a constituent of Mr Helmer’s? Bully for you! And, what does your sentence mean when you say ‘ I support what the majority wanton one policy and what the minority want on another’?????

    • Maria E Prior says:

      For your further information why are you claiming I ‘undoubtedly’ oppose capital punishment, when I have not expressed a view on it at all, simply because this is not the relevant site to do so? You do like ‘twisting’ things , don’t you? How sad you are!

  44. Oh dear – and Maria comes back with another straw man argument and still cannot answer the point that she supports what the majority wants on one policy and what the minority wants on another policy.

    Maria.. that is of course if that’s your real name…..

    • Maria E Prior says:

      Of course, it’s my real name! Ha!ha! That’s such a daft question to ask, coming from someone who isn’t prepared to admit theirs!!!

  45. Ah so now Maria is dictating what is allowed to be written on this website? Err sorry – this isn’t a website that just focuses on hunting.

    And of course she, or he, has had their ‘majority’ argument smashed.

    I’d suggest you go troll on another website – your own when you will be in a majority and you can agree with yourself.


    • Maria E Prior says:

      Majority rules! I have no idea what you are rambling on about! You carry on in your own little world, and think what you like!

  46. Naveta Magar says:

    I feel your pain. I never had any luck with this kind of
    stuff, either. So happy to find out I’m not by myself!

  47. Brin Jenkins says:

    Welcome to the NU Soviet UK Union Lets all settle down and stop shouting in the playground. The State should certainly never have been involved it this sort of micro management of our society and culture.

    Thanks a bunch to Mr Blair who should answer for his alleged, non too humane war crimes in Iraq.

  48. Freya says:

    You’re missing a fundamental point – fox hunting is NOT an efficient method of pest control, regardless of the speed of death or if you approve of the methods. The number of foxes caught on hunts is tiny (on of the hunters’ common defenses) – so small as to have no discernable effect on the fox population in a local area. The nature of foxes’ biological systems is that you’d have to decimate around 70% of a local population to have any effect on next year’s population. Many hundreds more foxes die on the roads than are caught in hunts – and that again has no effect on the populations we see. This means that if the main reason for hunting is invalid – then it DOES take it back to just doing it because a small minority enjoy it.

  49. You have no say in this vote anyway you are an MEP, dog cause more damage and injuries in the UK than foxes so do you want pets hunted as well?

  50. christine olle says:

    you are saddened that dogs cannot rip apart and kill helpless animals for sport – think you need to go back to kindergarten when we were all taught how to respect life – every life matters – you might just reincarnate as a fox – hmmmmmmmm

  51. Judi hewitt says:

    Rubbish – fox hunting is barbaric. The duke of Westminster is showing how selfish he and his friends in the royal family and countryside alliance are! And what liars too! He never cared for the welfare of hunted foxes.

  52. MIKE MAUNDER says:

    ONCE AGAIN ROGER, WELL DONE FOR HAVING THE BALLS TO STATE YOUR POSITION. But your position on hunting / fox control, is not where I am, and I never will be. Don’t be in any way alarmed at that because you and I are of like mind on so many things, that I was beginning to think I was something of a clone of yours, so its good to find something we disagree on. Even so, you have to mark me as a crazy mixed up guy, because although I am totally against pain to animals, I could never be a vegetarian because I love ham, poultry and beef steak with onions far too much. What I think we do agree on, is that it is wrong for one set of people to dictate to another set of people, on their lifestyle. I am a Town dweller, and it would be foolish for me to try and tell a Country dweller how to live, and vice versa. After all, we both need each other. I only hope that there will be no referendum on fox hunting, because if there were, then I would have to free my conscience on this and vote for abolition, and I am sure we would win !

  53. BarryF says:

    “it is wrong for one set of people to dictate to another set of people, on their lifestyle.”

    Killing animals for fun is not ‘lifestyle’ Mike, it is a selective suspension of empathy. Something that rightly involves a society in its ethics. You wouldn’t accept cat hunting as a lifestyle, would you?

    Huntspeople tell each other it’s alright, but it’s not alright. They wouldn’t inflict it on any other animal, they invent excuses for exempting foxes from normal standards, so they can have fun. They turn a blind eye to all the hounds being shot at 4-5 years old.

    It’s up to the rest of us to point this out. People used to hunt otters, for fun, after all, and now everyone accepts that’s wrong. It’s progress, as a society, and time for a bit more, now Cameron’s gone.

    • MIKE MAUNDER says:

      I think we are almost in agreement Barry. Fox hunting is to you and me, disgusting ! However, I am parting company with you due to the lifestyle difference that is clear to see, between town and country, and I detest one lot telling the other lot what they can or cannot do. A monster similarity would be our UK/GB having the French and Italians wishing to punish us for leaving the E.U. – How dare they ? They live in their country and we in ours, and we think their club is not for us anymore. Our choice !

      • BarryF says:

        Well Mike if townies started hunting horses, how long would it take the country folk to get involved?

      • BarryF says:

        “I detest one lot telling the other lot what they can or cannot do”
        My point is Mike, what else would you apply this principle to? Can you name ONE other act which is unethical in towns but you would allow in the countryside?
        Not that there aren’t a lot of people like me who do live in the countryside, and always have, and even have family who used to hunt, and think it’s unethical to chase animals for fun. In fact the last poll showed that just as many country dwellers as townies are opposed to foxhunting – 80%.

  54. MIKE MAUNDER says:

    Then maybe a National referendum is the way to go on this, backed up by total enforcement. Here in Northampton we have the Pytchley Hunt, there may be more, but this is the well known one. I well remember as a young lad, being taken in the car on Boxing Day to Harlestone to see the hunt, and I remember seeing these puffed up nobodies, in fancy dress, trying to control their horses, going along the road, and then the hounds darting through a farm gate, and these total pills trying to follow the hounds by jumping the gate. The gate was smashed, and I remember asking my Dad who would pay the farmer for the damage ? He told me that the hunt would have to pay, and back in the 1950s, as a youngster, I just thought what a load of stupid nonsense, by people we are supposed to look up to. At least two JPs were members. In my 20s I was invited to a rough shoot by someone with permission from a farmer to keep his rabbits down. I was rubbish with a shotgun, not giving enough forward sighting as I was only conversant with rifle, and the guy who organised the shoot started to use clays and a movie camera so that we could see our errors. For it to show up on film, he brought out some rounds of phosphorus cartridges. All went well until he took his turn, but spotted a rabbit and shot the poor thing with phosphorus. I will never forget the squeals of pain from the rabbit as it was shot and set alight. I have never drawn a bead on any animal since then, and never will. That was learning the hard way !

    • MIKE MAUNDER says:

      Just one thought Barry of what goes well in the country, but please keep it out of the towns. …………….
      Morris Dancing !
      As for chasing animals for fun. As a youngster, living on the edge of Northampton, I wondered where my dog took himself off to during the day. He was a first cross of a Labrador and German Shepherd, and was so exceptional that I have never had another dog. Jet was so pleased that I was, for once going with him, but I saw a field of cows and tried to grab his collar. A voice from behind a hedge asked, is that Jet ? A farm worker was off his tractor having a cuppa, and gave me a sandwich, and one for Jet, and he told me that my dog was a regular visitor, and just used to look at the cows in total disinterest, but made a friend of this farm worker. Some dogs are a ### nuisance, but yours is a real country dog, that just wants to get in the woods nearby.

      • BarryF says:

        Well Morris Dancing is certainly a very dubious activity Mike 🙂

        Yes I agree about shooting too, it’s just an absurd expression of power, and time we were above it. On foxhunting, well the solution surely is to ban breeding packs of foxhounds. They’re just treated like stock after all, with no affection, that’s why they can’t be rehomed afterwards and hunts just shoot them all.

        Your dog sounds like he was a character! We have Greyhounds and lurchers, but they seldom get to catch anything.

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