Since 2004, when hunts were banned from hunting Foxes (they now simply follow scent trails), the hunt saboteurs are at a bit of a loss about what to demonstrate against.
Their disruption of Boxing Day hunts has now become simply 'anti-toff', and another excuse to pull their anarchist masks over their faces, wave a few placards, and cause general mayhem.
So may I suggest that they focus their attention elsewhere, where real slaughter of cute wildlife is on a horrendous scale. CATS.
Cats kill Hundreds of Millions of creatures annually; yes, Hundreds of Millions. In comparison to a few rogue hounds finding a Fox or two, this is a massive cull of the UK's wildlife.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds estimates that around 275 MILLION CREATURES are killed by cats each year; 55 Million of which are birds. Our own late cat, Freddie, did his best to reduce the numbers of mice here in France (with my approval).
So, why are the little darlings not demonstrating outside No 6 Rodent Ave, or No 10 Downing St, where Tiddles or Larry are doing their worst? Could it be that the saboteurs themselves own some of these outrageously murderous cats?
Obviously the UK's cat population doesn't dress-up in pink-coat finery, and ride around looking for victims on horseback, so it might be difficult for the demonstrators to know quite where to aim their pointed shoulder-chips; instead, they might like to lobby parliament for a bill insisting that all cats wear extremely noisy warning bells on their collars.
Instead of trying to harm horses, these militant animal lovers might actually feel more virtuous by saving some rodents or garden birds.
p.s. I should add that, personally, I am not anti hounds, horses, well-dressed horsemen, OR even our population of delightfully murderous cats.
I'm sure the wild cats here are mostly responsible for the disappearance of all the pheasants and quail around here. They were plump and quite tame 10 years ago. The hunters in the area don't hunt around our house or surrounds.ReplyDelete
Unfortunately these cats are wild and multiply at will.
Of course I'm only pulling a few legs here, but it is true; cats are terrible murderers.Delete
Living in a hunting area, it was a sad day when the fox-hunting ban came into effect.ReplyDelete
The "antis" played all sorts of tricks on the hunt, but I don't believe that they knew vary much, just a bunch of scruffy individuals with mis-guided ideals and no concept of country ways.
What they failed to do was offer any sort of alternative method of controlling fox numbers.
I'm a country boy, so hunting has always been a part of my life. I once had a whole chicken run slaughtered by a Fox (about 15 hens), so I do know how destructive they are. As there is no local hunt, I was advised by my neighbour to adopt a local method of Fox control. It was far too nasty to try.Delete
Cats are a huge problem here, especially for many of our small marsupials. Some effort is being made, but too little, too late.ReplyDelete
Their company outweighs any ill-feeling they have towards rodents. Our late cat (Freddie) had just two roles in life; to look attractive, and catch mice.Delete
Our cat fell ill and died it after vomited a complete mouse. The vet said the mouse had been poisoned. There's a man comes round all the houses selling rat poison about once a year so it was probably that that'd killed the mouse and the cat. Two birds with one stone. The cat used to kill mice and frogs and sometimes leave them on the step. I never saw it kill a bird. But I suppose cats like people are all a bit different.ReplyDelete
Ours used to occasionally bring live mice up into the bedroom; and let them go! One has to be very careful with poisons if you have cats. Our late Freddie never killed birds; just mice and voles.Delete
Our farm cats were expert at killing baby rabbits and kept the population down quite a lot. When I had a house cat it was far too lazy to catch anything amd seemed to spend most of its time asleep.Delete
No Rabbits here; maybe the local moggies have had them all.Delete
Fox hunting has been a bone of contention between my father in law and myself for 30 years. He rides in his local hunt - I'm very anti. So many loopholes in the bill - foxes are killed.ReplyDelete
Plenty of Foxes are still killed, mostly by shooting or gassing. I notice that the saboteurs have no problem with this. I presume they don't consider the perpetrators as 'toffs'.Delete
Good thing foxes are killed. We are overrun with them. The chicken farms have skips full of them Mrs. Dead ones. Heaving. And still they come. Let the urban fox take your babies rather than ours.Delete
I haven't seen a Fox here for several years. I imagine they've been 'seen to' by the locals. The last time I heard about one was when a neighbour was chatting to another neighbour in his kitchen, when he suddenly jumped up, grabbed his shotgun, and ran outside. A single shot stopped the Fox from taking a Lamb.Delete
I do agree that cats are the biggest killer, although our Hobie has never managed to actually kill anything. As for fox hunting, I think it should be banned. They blatantly flout the law that has supposedly banned them since 2004. I have witnessed them time and again trespassing on friends properties, more often than not devastating their gardens with horse and dog. They arrogantly cause traffic tail backs without a concern for what trouble they are causing, and I have seen them actually laughing at motorists who complain.There is no place in the modern world for such blatant animal cruelty in the name of a jolly. These 'scruffy individuals' in my experience of protesting against the National Trust are almost entirely made up of intelligent people of all ages, and from all walks of life. If anyone desires to raise chickens, buy a better fence. If you need to control foxes because they are 'pests', then shoot them.ReplyDelete
The above was written as a 'tongue in cheek' look at why certain protesters don't protest about things far more destructive than one or two Foxes being caught 'by accident'. Since 2004, most hunts are very aware of the rules, and if a few Foxes are killed, then it's not by desire. That is left to those who shoot or gas, killing huge amounts of both Foxes and Badgers annually.Delete
I'm sure there are a few intelligent people amongst the usual rabble, but they are not the ones attacking horses or dogs; at least I hope not.
Most hunts continue to hunt and kill foxes so long as there are no hunt sabs around to witness it. A friend of mine is married to a very wealthy, titled hunt Master who owns thousands of acres in Oxfordshire. He ignores the sabs and simply pays the hefty fine each time he breaks the law, then carries on again as normal. I agree with Gary above when he says that you cannot blame foxes when someone's chickens are killed because of poor coops or fences. I get fed up with sob stories from amateur chicken keepers who are too stingy to pay for a secure hen house.ReplyDelete
Too much time was spent on fox hunting in Parliament - there were far more important things to consider. I would never want to kill anything for sport, but it does not make much difference to a fox how it dies.Delete
Most hunts used to be invited by farmers onto their land, to help solve a Fox problem. I presume your friend with all those acres must have a similar problem too. No-one these days should encourage the hunt to kill Foxes rather than simply follow a scent trail, so maybe you should inform your local police.Delete
The police already know. There are more foxes per square mile in London than there are in the country. Perhaps the Westminster Hunt should be formed to tackle the problem.Delete
Totally agree. If the coops or pens etc aren't fit for purpose and are insecure then surely chickens shouldn't be kept. Bit irresponsible.Delete
Good idea. The Home Counties cat killer turned out to be a fox. My kebab was taken from my hand by a fox in Bethnal Green.Delete
Foxes will burrow under fences and however secure the pens are they will exploit rabbit holes even if takes weeks of circling to find one. If the chickens are on the foxes regular run they will smell the chickens out and find a way in one way or another even the most well secured enclosures. In fact hunts accounted for few foxes caught, mostly they like being out on the horses ripping their way through the fields; foxes have always been controlled by being shot here.Delete
When all my hens were killed, they were inside a run with the wire netting buried to over a foot deep. Charlie took no notice.Delete
Why do they dress like that? My brother went to the Boxing Day Hunt and he said the saboteurs were blacked out so you couldn't see their faces and carrying placards saying "Cowards". He found it difficult to get his head around that. Anyway, the crowds were large cheering the horses on.Delete
You have to bury the fence more than a foot, but the main thing is to keep them in a secure hutch at night. It really isn't rocket science.Delete
We used to shut the chickens in at dusk when we were children, Although I didn't I was in bed. Sometimes rats would eat the day old chicks.Delete
I once bought a dozen Guinea Fowl chicks, and the Rats had them within days. I didn't bother again.Delete
I totally agree. Years after the demise of our own murderous feline friend, I still feel terribly guilty about the damage she did and wish I’d fitted her with a collar...ReplyDelete
I've always had a mixed attitude towards mouse catching. I was happy for our cat to catch them, but was always slightly sorry for the mice. As with our local Moles, I'd prefer that they lived elsewhere!Delete
The sister to Hobie, Misty, was a mouse catcher. I often saw a similarity to the way she killed mice and huntsmen kill foxes. Slowly, playfully, and as she never actually ate any of them, pointlessly. Hobie has never had the balls to actually catch anything. He kind of murmers at mice and birds, and was always getting beaten up by other cats. He's apparantly 104 in human terms, so we keep him in, feed him cooked chicken, accept his meagre offerings of friendship, and escort him outside occasionally as he hobbles about on his arthritic hip.ReplyDelete
I'm afraid that our late Freddie (like most cats) enjoyed playing with his catch. I often took them from him to 'put them out of their misery'. Nature often isn't kind!Delete
Should be open season on foxes and wild cats. They have decimated our native wildlife in some areas here.ReplyDelete
If left unchecked, they can easily change the whole eco-system. Our local hunters kill wild boar and roe deer; if they didn't the whole area would be over-run.Delete
The domesticated cats (and dogs) here can rack up quite a large kill tally each year but it's the Feral cats and dogs here that are for me most frightening. They grow to enormous sizes and lose all their fluffy cuteness. Stuff of nightmares.ReplyDelete
I wonder why you have so many feral cats and dogs around. Here we occasionally find a lost hunting dog, but otherwise there are none around. However, further down in Spain they are everywhere.Delete