Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Preserving Tradition; Preserving Liberty

I was out on the Boxing Day hunt, the first time this great occasion on the hunting calendar has been unmarred by the weather for two years past. I was out with an estimated 300,000 people, attending 300 hundred hunts across the country. Some were there as riders; others just to enjoy the spectacle. I say the event was unspoiled by the weather; it was also unspoiled by the killjoys and snoopers, the dirty mac brigade who have marred previous occasions.

Of course we are no longer allowed by law to pursue the fox itself, ever since the ghastly Labour government of the ghastly Tony Blair (oh, how I would like to hunt him!) introduced the Hunting with Dogs Act in 2004, a piece of legislative spite based on the worst forms of inverted snobbery and incomprehension. Instead we now have to pursue an artificial trail, a ‘drag hunt’, a bit of a drag, really.

Oh, foxes are still killed aright, but they are fortunate if they are killed ‘accidentally’, getting in the path of the hunt. Otherwise these animals, defined as vermin, a danger to the rural economy, have to be killed in a variety of ways, including snaring and gassing, which only serves to prolong their suffering, a ‘mercy’ inflicted on them by those canting hypocrites who pride themselves on their dislike of animal cruelty.

The government of David Cameron is committed to holding a free vote on the possible repeal of the 2004 Act, when ‘time allows’. I rather fear that it’s not going to be allowed in the present Parliament. One understands that there are other priorities just at the moment, but one also has the feeling that the – foxy – Liberal Democrat tail is wagging the Conservative dog, or at least wagging Cameron.

In the meantime I’m delighted to see that George Freeman, a Tory MP, has come out suggesting that a parliamentary inquiry should be held to prove the case for repeal. Reported in the Telegraph he said;

I am pleased that the Government has committed to a free vote on the ban in its Coalition Agreement. But before we have that vote let’s set up a parliamentary inquiry to find out what effect the ban is really having. All the anecdotal evidence is that the ban is bad for animal welfare, bad for the countryside, bad for the rural economy and a waste of police resources. Let’s look at the evidence properly so we can decide on repeal on the basis of the facts rather than political bigotry and class war against the countryside.

Yes, let’s.

Anyway, my meet was a real John Peel occasion. It was such a delighted to be there, riding with mother and father and the other person who is closest to me in the whole the world. Yes, it was absolutely thrilling, to ride, to chase, to hunt, to be young and to be alive. I will continue to ride with the wind, to enjoy the freedom of the English countryside, to preserve an ancient tradition, to preserve liberty itself.


  1. No need to argue with the urban vermin. Just stop feeding them.

  2. A Hunter eats what he kills, how would you like your Fox?

  3. Trophy hunting has always troubled me, but if foxes are a genuine hazard to animals and the public overall, I'd be ok with licensed hunts, but I don't wanna see them hunted to oblivion. Are foxes that much of a public nuisance?


  4. Calvin, but then they start raking through the trash. :-)

  5. Anthony, I'm afraid I'm one of the unspeakable. :-) Actually hunters do not always eat what they kill.

  6. Coll, there is absolutely no danger of foxes being hunted to oblivion. Yes, they are a major nuisance here, in both country and town. Have a look at a piece I called Fox That/ published on 15 June last year. http://anatheimp.blogspot.com/2010/06/fox-that.html

  7. Oops! I realize on re-reading that my comment was a trifle ambiguous. I was, of course, referring to anti-hunt protesters and socialist MPs. But your response remains perfectly apt.

  8. We're having issues with neighborhoods encroaching on bear habitats in the North. Would you sanction animal control or restrict neighborhood development?


  9. Or Huntress/She, no not always but they should be made to!

  10. I wonder if vegans & the folks who compose the rabid anti-hunting crowd have had their canine teeth pulled? Like it or not, homo sapiens is an omnivorous species.

  11. Calvin, actually that's how I read and understood your comment. :-)

  12. Coll, it would depend on the circumstances. I'm certainly in favour of preserving as much of nature as possible. Elephants in Africa have to be culled to this end.

  13. "By the way if ever you want to ride, just let Lynch know and he'll sort it out for you."

    "Oh, Papa, Cousin Matthew doesn't ride."

    "I ride."

    "And do you hunt?"

    "No I don't hunt."

    I dare say there's not much opportunity in Manchester."

    "Are you a hunting family?"

    "Families like ours are always hunting families."

    "Not always. Billy Skelton won't have them on his land."

    "But all the Skeltons are mad."

    "Do you hunt?"

    "Occasionally. I suppose you're more interested in books than country sports"

    "I probably am. You'll tell me that's rather unhealthy."

    "Not unhealthy. Just unusual. Among our kind of people."

    (Julian Fellowes. Downton Abbey).

    Oh, I do like game royale. I like pheasant and I had some venison over Christmas.

  14. So did I! Happy New Year, Rehan. :-)