Time’s up for hunting
Ican understand the irritation of hunt members at being banned from killing foxes with hounds. Just as I can understand the irritation of smokers who can’t sit in a pub and enjoy a pint and a smoke.
They are being stopped from doing what they want to do, of course they are irritated.
But that doesn’t make what they are doing right. And it doesn’t mean they can disobey the law.
And that is what a judge decided Fitzwilliam huntsman George Adams did on a New Year’s Day hunt at Wansford in January 2016.
I am a lover of tradition and the sights and sounds of the hunt with the hunters on horseback in their red jackets surrounded by their hounds on a frosty morning in a picturesque village is quintessentially British.
But hunting has a darker side to it than this setpiece for the cameras.
I am a meat-eater and have no illusions about the red raw savagery of nature nor the cold, clinical reality of animal farming.
But the problem I have with hunting, shared I believe with most people, is the pleasure the hunters take in the pursuit even if it doesn’t result in the death of the quarry.
When the law was changed to ban the killing of foxes by hunting it was a half-way house. The politicians should have been bolder and banned it outright.
Adams was asked in court if his intention was to kill the fox with hounds.
His reply was: “Absolutely no. We wanted to flush it out for the bird of prey.’’
That would be legal, and that’s the problem, because that’s still wrong.