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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 November, 2004, 18:47 GMT
Hunting with dogs: Your views?
The Derwent Hunt on horses, with hounds, dogs
We asked for your views on the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

This is a minority issue given far more priority than it deserves by the government
Matt, Loughborough, UK
Putting things into perspective, this is a minority issue given far more priority than it deserves by the government, who should be focusing on things like health, policing and education. I'm happy to see hunting continue, I may not totally agree with it or the people who participate in it but it provides jobs in the countryside, serves some function as pest control, is no more inhumane than poisoning or trapping and at the end of the day is a lifestyle choice. The government should leave it be and get on with running the country, and not people's lives.
Matt, Loughborough, UK

If the countryside people want urban people to stay out of their business the fair enough. Perhaps they would also like our income taxes to stop funding their ridiculous subsidies.
Andy Geoghegan, Manchester

I come from rural Ireland where, when I was younger, the hunt was a way of life. I enjoyed the spectacle then, but my excuse is I was only a child and didn't know any better. I have grown up now and things which were accepted in those days are no longer acceptable today. We must move on.
Bill, Cognac, France

This is purely class motivated by a rabble of backbench Labour MPs. Why only fox hunting? This ban would still leave it legal for rabbits to be hunted, deer and pheasants also in a manner that is equally cruel. Let's focus on the real issues such as law and order, health, the environment and education. Why the use of the Parliament Act? Supporters point out that the will of the Commons can not be ignored and they are perfectly correct, but let's remember why the first Parliament Act was introduced. It was to allow a vital piece of legislation, the Budget, to be passed not for a vindictive piece of trash such as this bill.
Oliver, Leicester

Hunting banned? Disgraceful, rather they should bring back Badger baiting, Cockfighting and Bear dancing[ [burning their feet gets them to dance]. Also, after a jolly time chasing a wild animal and watching it being ripped to pieces by dogs, why not go down to the local asylum to have a bit of sport with the residents, just like they did at Bedlam in the good old days, when, as Prince Charles would no doubt say, people knew their place.
Roger Woolway, Darymouth. Canada

To all those involved in hunting, the answer is simple, GET A PROPER JOB!
Mike, Wiltshire, England

I oppose a ban on hunting as I am someone who has grown up with the sport forming an essential part of my community. I believe that the motives for the ban are not a reflection of the democratic choice of the people of the UK. I think there are far more important issues, and am disappointed in this being pursued despite huge protests - surely an indication that change is not required at this time. When we can protect all our children then sure lets raise the moral bar and protect our animals.
Natasha Hooper, Cornwall

No one should judge hunting if they haven't been before
M. Scott, Faringdon, UK
No one should judge hunting if they haven't been before. Phone your local hunt to find out where Saturdays meet is and go along and see for yourself before making a decision. Most people against hunting have never been before so what right do they have saying "ban it"?
M. Scott, Faringdon, UK

I have followed the hunt several times, and it only confirmed my view that it is totally indefensible. Ban hunting, and while we're at it, sort out animal welfare across the board, including banning "religious" slaughter.
Edward, UK

Hunting with dogs should have banned years ago. It is just a sport for the wealthy and those that doff their caps to the aforementioned!
David Thomas, Zeals, Wilts

I hope the government puts a stop to what is a cruel and barbaric practice. It has nothing to do with a class war it is simply a matter of stopping a sport that has no place in a civilised world.
Peter Sage, Cranbrook

It seems ironic that the government are so stuck on banning hunting as it is 'cruel' to kill foxes but they have no qualms in sending our troops into Iraq, risking their lives for no reason whatsoever! No longer can we say that this is a democratic society. People enjoy hunting, not because they are barbaric, blood-thirsty killers but because hunting is a way of life that has touched many peoples lives for hundreds of years. The day hunting is banned will be a truly sad day - last person out, switch off the lights!
Joanna Smith, Nottinghamshire

The only sane conclusion is to license hunts to ensure that they follow the guidelines on the kill. An outright ban is silly, especially as the government must use the anti-democracy law to force it through.
Anthony Walker, Manchester

As an ex-huntsman I can offer some insights into this. The reality is that we don't have to kill foxes - the country will not be overrun with them. Most of us realise this is an excuse we give to our naive town folk cousins and which they often fall for it. In fact foxhunting is a tradition that we enjoy. Yes it's cruel and yes we do enjoy the killing aspect and dare I say it some of us even hunt other things we might come across. Personally, I don't care if it's banned or not as I've done it all and have no grandchildren to pass it onto anyway. Maybe it should be banned.
Henry, Berks

Barbarity is barbarity, wherever it occurs, and it must stop
Chas Knight, Duxford, UK
Born and brought up in London, I am heartily sick of hearing about my lack of understanding of 'country' issues. I'm a citizen of this entire country; I have a right to go where I like and say what I like. My opinion on fox hunting is as valid as any country snob's. Barbarity is barbarity, wherever it occurs, and it must stop. If jobs are lost - so be it. If dogs, specially-bred to be aggressive, must be destroyed - so be it. Worried about changes to your way of life? Grow up; it's called progress.
Chas Knight, Duxford, UK

No, hunting should not be banned. I have seen foxes shot and if not killed immediately they suffer a long cruel death and marksmen will not waste another bullet. I hunt as do my daughters (9 & 5) They have lost their rabbit and seen the fox take around 4 lambs of 8 born. The fox also took all 8 of the geese they had. The fox is killed by a shake of his neck by the first hound to catch it. All this rubbish about being ripped to bits is rubbish, I have not seen that happen at all in the last 3 seasons.
Rhys Williams, Barry South Wales

I've been hunting for all my life (20 years) I find it strange that people can ban something with no real idea of a)what it's about and b) what affect it would have on the wildlife and economy in rural areas.
Kevin, Ottery, Devon

Whilst I am suspicious of the motivations behind the hunting ban, believing it to be more about "class" than animal welfare, I am 100% in support of banning this very cruel blood "sport". One thing is for sure though, if it were "common people" who took part in this dreadful activity it would have been banned long ago, as were the working men's "sports" of cock fighting and dog fighting etc. Once this ban is behind us, we can look to other issues of animal cruelty, as several people have pointed out, there are far worse cruelties going on. Just because there are worse things in the world does not mean some issues should be ignored.
Hazel, Isle of Man

I would be very glad if the hunt could clear these wretched creatures from my London garden
Celia, London
A fox dug down several feet to get into the enclosure of my son's pet rabbit and ripped its head off as I glanced out of the bathroom window. I would be very glad if the hunt could clear these wretched creatures from my London garden, where they terrorise the local cats, constantly burrow under the shrubs and leave chewed litter everywhere. For some reason they are protected by the local council. How else are farmers supposed to defend their animals from attack by foxes if not by hunting them? The alternatives to hunting them sound much worse to me.
Celia, London

It's a shame the hunt supporters never seem to mention the hundreds if not thousands of hounds that are put to sleep each year when they reach the end of their hunting career. Its not just foxes that are slaughtered in this sport from the dark ages.
Jim, Epping

It's about chasing and ripping up animals for fun. Just fun. The majority of us have democratically decided that this form of fun is sick. If I was a country person I would be damn furious that the organised sadists have claimed that this is part of my 'way of life', as if somehow country dwellers are a more primitive type of human, somehow lacking the ability to entertain themselves unless it involved a bit of blood and killing.
Andy Tribble, London England

The problem with the pro-hunting brigade is that they will not accept anything but the "kill". There are I am sure more efficient ways of killing foxes (who seemingly now) live in urban areas, than destroying farmers crops. Drag Hunting for example?
John , France

I think that maybe we should have a public referendum on this issue
Lyn Edwards, UK

I think that maybe we should have a public referendum on this issue - the majority of sane sensible people are of the opinion that they don't like it - but it is certain peoples way of life and if that's what they want to do - so be it - maybe the hunters wouldn't like certain things that the anti hunt people do - so lets have a vote and live and let live - lets mind our own business and stop interfering.
Lyn Edwards, UK

A number of comments have been made about the urban fox population - how many hunts do you see in urban areas?
Laura, UK

Hunting with dogs does less harm to the environment than polluting with your car. Ban driving these filthy machines.
Robert Kimber, Cornwall

How would the hunters feel if a wild pack of animals caught their own family pet and ripped it to shreds right in front of them? I imagine they would be in uproar! Foxes may be pests that need to be controlled, but there is no need for the barbaric way in which these people want to do that.
Elaine, London, England

I may not agree with fox hunting. But why ban it?
John, Manchester

I may not agree with fox hunting. But why ban it? I want to water ski on Windermere but their banning that because some do gooder said so. When will they start on fishing?
John, Manchester

It's time to give foxes the same legal protection from abuse that other animals have in the UK. Saying that it will be impossible to enforce is a spurious argument. It's difficult for the police to combat drug dealing but they do it anyway because as a society we abhor the damage it causes. Time to drag the hunt kicking and screaming (rather than the fox) into the 21st century.
Colin, Inverness

The proposed ban is simple (perceived) class warfare. I have spent and hour and a half in my local about five times a week for the last 20 years and the conversation just never crops up. I despise these Labour backbenchers who purport to be concerned about the welfare of foxes but allow the killing of 160,000 unborn human beings every year. These are despicable double standards. I hope that, if a ban is to be introduced, it is brought in within three months. By the time of the general election, Blair will find himself fighting a noisy and high profile battle on the home front as well as causing mayhem in Iraq.
Mark, Eastbourne, Sussex

We had to get on with life, and make the best of a bad job - so should they!
Carole Warren, Littlehampton

When we joined the EU, my husband lost his job, his home, and his way of life when the dairy farmer for whom he worked was forced onto the verge of bankruptcy and sold up to a hunting syndicate. I do not remember the Countryside Alliance rushing to our aid then, to help the thousands like us, to keep us in our jobs, and rural homes and to maintain our country traditions and way of life. Why should hunt related people be treated any differently now. We had to get on with life, and make the best of a bad job - so should they!
Carole Warren, Littlehampton, W Sussex

If the hunts go who will dispose of dead horses, cows and other livestock. The hunt currently do this for free. People who live in towns should stay there and leave the countryside to those who know it, love it and tend it.
David, England

I live in Tony Bank's constituency where we have a problem with urban foxes who regularly try to break into our rabbit hutch, scared one of our guinea pigs to death and have bitten one of our cats. Never mind banning fox hunting, I would like to see foxes banned.
Tom, London

I used to run a village pub on the England/Wales border and there was a hunt that met in our car park. The hunt kennels was just down the road. There was still a working blacksmith in the village. The local farmers called the hunt when a dead animal needed to be removed - free. Our bar was always full of hunt supporters or kennels workers, and the Boxing Day hunt was the highlight of the year drawing coach loads of foreign spectators. One morning, I looked out of my bedroom window at about 5.30 and saw the huntsman taking 40 couples of hounds up the lane for their early morning walk. He was a highly qualified electronic engineer who had given it all up to work with the hunt because he loved riding. Villages like that one will die, and our traditions will disappear one by one.
Pat Jennison, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Perhaps once the hunting debate is settled we will see an increase in support for those rural issues that really matter
Peter, Telford, UK
The Countryside Alliance should think long and hard about their continued support for hunting in the face of the clear majority view that it should be banned. I sympathise with many of the issues facing rural communities, such as the lamentable prices they are given for their produce, the bullying attitude of the big supermarkets etc. but I cannot offer them my support as long as they continue this enthusiasm for this inexcusable activity. Perhaps once the hunting debate is settled we will see an increase in support for those rural issues that really matter.
Peter, Telford, UK

Call it a sport? Fox problems can be controlled humanely without this so called 'entertainment.' Should have been banned years ago. It is akin to something from the 'dark ages.'
Gillian, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland

It is totally unjust to criminalise a law abiding minority by banning hunting which has been shown to be the most efficient form of fox control. If the urban MP's, led by the likes of Tony Banks, were at all interested in the welfare of the fox they would be voting to make it a protected species. Banning hunting with hounds will lead to the deaths of many more foxes by means which the Burns Report, commissioned by this Government, identified as being less humane than hunting.
Cronin, UK

Put it another way - should we tolerate the harrying and killing of animals for fun in the 21st century, or should hunting go the way of badger baiting - which is basically the same sport? It's obvious it should be banned, and that is the will of our democratically elected parliament. The pink coat people can still go drag hunting, or are they worried that their buffoonery will then be only too clear? And don't forget, they shoot their hounds anyway.
Rupert, Devon, UK

Whoever says its human nature to hunt is partly right. It was once human nature to hunt, when we actually needed to hunt for survival. Nowadays there is no need to hunt based on human instinct as we have all the food we need. Hunting is obviously cruel and if it needs to be done it should be done in a humane manner.
Mike J, Bristol

No! It is a very natural form of pest control. Foxes have no natural predators, only the hounds. It is a very efficient way of reducing the sick and old population of foxes and deer, and thus managing the healthy populations. Something that other forms of pest control cannot do, as efficiently.
Shaun Palmer, Chippenham, Wiltshire, England

This is such a minor issue
Jacob Schultz, Panama City, Panama
All I have to say is there are more important things to discuss for the parliament of a country who is a member of the UN Security Council and a major power in the world. This is such a minor issue when compared to nuclear proliferation and genocide; I can hardly believe the British are spending so much time debating it. First things first!
Jacob Schultz, Panama City, Panama

Absolutely! It is high time we put an end to this barbaric so called, "sport". What amazes me is how anyone can justify hunting down an animal with a pack of dogs, and then watch as it is torn limb from limb. That's certainly not my idea of a recreational activity. I just hope Mr Blair has the courage of his convictions !
Linda, Manchester, UK

We will be left with an explosion in the fox population with random acts of poisoning and shooting. Blair and his populist cronies did not attack angling, which is just as painful for the fish, if not more so. Would you like to be suffocated? Why? - because more of the middle and lower classes fish.
Rob, Sheffield

The hunts have had hundreds of years to tackle the fox, and we are told the fox is still a problem
Jon Rigby, Grantham
How can hunting be an effective way of fox control? The Hunts have had hundreds of years to tackle the fox, and we are told the fox is still a problem. That does not sound very effective to me. There will be other methods of fox control available, but the ineffective hunting with hounds will not be one of them.
Jon Rigby, Grantham, England

Yes! Yes! Yes! If you have to control the population, shoot them, it takes seconds not hours and the fox doesn't know anything about it.
Fiona, Derbyshire

Debating banning fox hunting is Tory baiting and toff bashing, what will the activists do if it is enacted? The Lords should pass the Bill with immediate effect and stir up the electorate before the general election.
Peter Younie, London UK

Yes it should be banned totally but it is typical of Tony Blair to wimp out yet again.
Paul Menpes, Esher England

Ban this, ban that, ban the other. Pander to every whimsical public emotion. The nanny state is running wild. Hopefully it'll end sometime soon and we can return the rule of reason.
Martin, Wokingham, England

It is superior to believe city people have a purely sentimental view of wildlife
Nathan, Somerset
It is arrogant and superior of the fox hunting community to believe that city people have a purely sentimental (Beatrix P) view of wildlife. I hold the fox in the same regard as any other animal. Perhaps the hunting fraternity should re-evaluate their commercial perspective of nature. Tradition, employment, liberty, enjoyment are no justifications for barbarism and cruelty. Only a simpleton would argue that hunting with hounds is an effective, efficient method of pest control. The majority of the British public, country and towns people alike, believe fox hunting is unacceptable, that is democracy.
Nathan, Somerset

I wonder how many anti-hunt lobbyists have poured boiling water onto an ants nest or sprayed a fly with BugZap without thinking twice. A terrible and painful death for the animal involved, but pest control all the same. The only difference being is that we seem to be able to empathise more with the suffering of a beautiful animal. It shouldn't make any difference! Couple that with the perceived class differential and you have an easy target for the ill informed and largely ignorant lefties.
Gavin Brown, Crewe, Cheshire

Hunting should NOT be banned. Those who think it should are totally ignorant to the whole scene. Please partake in a day out with your local hunt either by following on horse or as a car follower before you make any form of judgement.
Lesley Farmer, Doncaster, England

Anyone who calls it a sport is living in the Dark Ages. The hunters have joined in this alliance to try to say they have bigger support than they do have and in a couple of years it will just be a bad memory.
Bobby Stokes, Altrincham England

It is in the interests of Labour not to introduce a total ban right now
TB, Spain

It is in the interests of Labour not to introduce a total ban right now. There is a general election next year. They will push for a total ban, be blocked by the Lords and then they will be pushing for the ban right until the election and then they will forget about it for another four years. Animal rights campaigners who vote Labour - you have been had.
TB, Spain

Forget Education Education Education. All Tony Blair and his government want to do is Legislate Legislate Legislate! And who's going to police this? Whilst riding my horse, I've already had half a dozen near misses with vehicles with the driver's ear glued to their phone. Who polices that? Forget.
Brian, rural UK

I live in the country and I can't agree with the attitudes and beliefs of the so-called countryside guardians - the farmers and associated rabble who want to exercise their right to roaming the countryside on horseback with a pack of baying hounds up front. They are a menace on the roads. They are belligerent and defend their right with violence - too often. Ban them and their so-called sport.
Lewis, Somerset

Of course it should be banned! I agree fox hunting is a way of life but how can it be legal to chase a wild animal down with dogs and horses and then torture it as it gets torn apart. I highly doubt anyone would accept a domestic animal to suffer this so why a wild one? It isn't acceptable to torture or hurt an animal for fun, sport or because its been in the culture for years?
Kati, Wales

The suggestion that hunting with dogs will naturally die out in a few years if left alone, is ludicrous. Of course it will not as fox hunters derive so much pleasure from meeting up, having a drink, socialising and then, just for fun mind you, having their killer hounds chase a fox until it is exhausted, frightened and stressed beyond belief. No, hunting will not die out naturally; it has to be killed off with a sharp short law, applied quickly by parliament to ease the pain of fox hunters' loss, which is more than they do for the foxes they hunt.
Peter Griffiths, London

While not a supporter of fox hunting, I too am appalled at the loss of parliamentary time for such an issue. More over, I am fed up with a government which continually attempts to not only govern the country but also our lives and even our fears. The nanny state is out of control.
Pascal Jacquemain, Welwyn Garden City, UK

It is my belief that animal welfare is a secondary issue in this debate
Malcolm Brooks, Milton Keynes

It is my belief that animal welfare is a secondary issue in this debate. The real issue is a misguided view of a class structure, or the have nots verses the haves. Perhaps the debate should be about animal welfare then other wider issues could be included, for example, inhumane methods of slaughter permitted within the food chain where the animals are not stunned before being killed. Far more animals suffer a cruel death in this manner than there are foxes in the UK. Can anyone tell me why we debate hunting with dogs and not methods of slaughter in our food chain when we are supposed to care so much about animal welfare? There must be good reasons as the priority is completely wrong.
Malcolm Brooks, Milton Keynes

And let's roll the clock forward ten years to when urban fox populations will have increased dramatically as they widen their territory in search of food. We'll then have increased fox control officers as a burden on the council tax, stray foxes causing more roadway accidents and shooting them in urban areas a huge unacceptable risk, and poisoning them as they die in bolt holes a public health problem. Abnormal population densities of any animal causes problems. Let natural culling be left to those that understand how to do it.
Bill, London

Of course hunting with dogs should be banned, no question. It's a revolting activity - I can't bring myself to call it a sport because I don't see how deriving pleasure from chasing a petrified animal across miles of countryside then standing back and seeing it ripped to pieces by a pack of hounds can be in any way sporting - and frankly, I can't wait to see those who are threatening to defy any ban that might be brought in being banged up in prison for a few days. All I want to know is - why the debate? Anyone in their right mind can see that hunting with dogs is revolting. Just ban it.
Nicky Flatt, Pinner, UK

This townie thinks that hunting should not be banned. While it is true that we would not dream of inventing it now if it did not exist it is not worth banning it - better to ban alcohol or tobacco or fishing (but too many votes lost there!). It kills few foxes, most of them infirm anyway. it provides some work. Gradually hunting will die out anyway - let it happen naturally over a few years.
Michael Jowett, England

I know enough farmers, and if a fox is troubling their livestock, they wait up at night and shoot it dead. Foxes are creatures of habit, they're easy enough to control with a torch, a gun, and a little patience. Yes, vital cash is injected into those rural communities that allow hunting (certainly not mine), but this debate is not about that. It is about gaining pleasure from the blood drawn of a tortured animal.
Denver Fowler, UK

The issue is freedom to choose. I choose not to hunt. But I will defend the right of others who choose to hunt.
David P, UK

The issue is obviously divisive and there is a very vocal minority who will do whatever they can to keep their blood sports legal. They will make a lot of noise and a lot of fuss, but it is time for the UK to stand firm and to set an example to the rest of the world. There is enough suffering and misery inflicted by humankind as it is on other living beings, and this cruel activity has no place in our culture, nor in a civilised world.
Stephen, England

Surely it is ludicrous to spend so much time on such an unimportant issue
Peter, UK
The country is falling apart at the seams, nothing works. Surely it is ludicrous to spend so much time on such an unimportant issue when there are real issues to address, i.e. transport, schools, NHS, crime, housing, unjustified wars etc. It seems it must be a "class issue" otherwise I can't see why this drags on. I personally think fox hunting is a stupid pastime, but an individual choice. Come on Blair let's debate the real issues.
Peter, UK

Having been a prison officer for 16 years, l know for sure that the protesters who might end up inside will not be received very well by their fellow inmates who generally despise the hunters and their arrogant attitudes. So be warned, prison is not the place you would wish to end up in.
Trevor, France

When miners protested about the loss of jobs and the destruction of communities, the Tories as the elected government turned the police on them! This alliance is protesting about the loss of an elitist hobby. Sorry folks, that's democracy.
Vince Godber, UK

Why is it that some class warrior always brings up the Tories' treatment of the miners? There is no comparison, as the then government didn't ban mining and the violence was a result of preserving the right to work. This Bill legislates for previously law-abiding people to be criminalised for working as they have done for generations.
Bill, Paisley

People should be left to get on with their own lives without interference from the government. Let the hunters be - they're not bothering anyone.
Chris, UK

It's nothing to do with a class war. It's about behaving in a civilised way. So hunting isn't barbaric then? Great! Let's bring back bear baiting and cock fighting! The pro-hunt lobby make me sick.
Martin, Cumbria, UK

In Germany hunting was banned years ago
Roy Wood, UK
All of the arguments about people losing their jobs and hound being put down are just so much propaganda. In Germany hunting was banned years ago and the hunting community carried on using 'drag hunts' and does so to this day. The only difference being that they do not need to rip an animal to shreds at the end of it. Many things were 'traditional ways of life' and have now passed into the annals of history. Shall we bring back bear-baiting, dog-fighting, cock-fighting ? Yes it is time to end this and I would include shooting live birds reared for the purpose and recreational fishing too.
Roy Wood, UK

The pro-hunting lobby repeatedly says that this Bill is "undemocratic". On the contrary, what is undemocratic is the fact that for years now, the House of Lords has been blocking our elected house, and it has been blocking the will of the electorate simply because many of its members have personal reasons for keeping hunting. Invoking the Parliament Act is not undemocratic at all because it is the only way to ensure the will of our elected representatives is carried out.
Peter Jones, Wales

Why do the media insist on calling it "a ban on fox hunting" it's nothing of the kind. Foxes will continue to be shot, trapped, gassed and poisoned. In my opinion far more foxes will die when hunting is banned. Well done the anti-hunt lobby! Oh, I don't like hunting but I do believe in freedom of choice.
Mike, UK

Although many in the anti-hunt lobby may be sincere, the level of cruelty inflicted by hunting is so small that their efforts should best be directed at repeat offenders of cruelty to pets or the fishing fraternity. This obsession with hunting with hounds seems misplaced and politically motivated. Those that argue about the rule of the majority ought to beware the consequences of the tyranny of the majority over minority groups.
Phil, UK

Why should people who are not involved with countryside sports and invariably not involved with the countryside full stop have any say on something that affects their life in no way whatsoever.
Susanna Reynolds, UK

I am not against a hunting ban but I am against this form of hunting
Andrew, UK
As a country boy I feel miss-represented. I am not against a hunting ban but I am against this form of hunting. After all, cock fighting is illegal and we don't hear of that being a civil liberty issue. What about protecting trees & buildings, don't I have a civil liberty to change my own property? or to drive my car over 100mph. I should have the liberty. In line with those we can see that there are times when it is correct that certain things should be banned.
Andrew, UK

I'm heartily sick of hearing spokesmen for the pro-hunting lobby claiming that banning hunting with dogs is a travesty of democracy. It clearly isn't - a majority of elected MPs voted for a ban - that is democracy in action. So get over it.
Warren, UK

I am sick of everything being banned I lost my pistols to a stupid ban now people my loose their livelihoods.
John Owen, UK

This is not a waste of parliamentary time. The debate over blood sports has been raging for at least 20 years
Matt, Birmingham, England
Firstly - this is not a waste of parliamentary time. The debate over blood sports has been raging for at least 20 years, so it is about time a vote was taken. Secondly - this is not pest control, it is a bunch of people (from whatever backgrounds) deriving pleasure from dressing up and chasing British wildlife until it is caught and ripped to shreds by a pack of hounds.

Thirdly - the government isn't bowing to a militant minority of despicable people who go around vandalising property and assaulting hunt-related people, the government is bowing to the wishes of the vast majority of the British public. Finally - there is no way that anyone could suggest that the rural way of life is threatened by banning hunting. Shooting is a more humane and successful method of pest control, and I am sure our rural cousins can find a pastime that doesn't involve the slaughter of an animal.
Matt, Birmingham, England

The money and time that has been wasted on debating this issue is outrageous
Graham, UK
A complete waste of time - the money and time that has been wasted on debating this issue is outrageous; there really are far more important things for the government, the police and the people demonstrating. This is the mindless persecution of a minority that made for an easy target for old school labour. The ban is unenforceable, so stop wasting time on it. It's a shame the vote went through, and a shame the issue got this far, and a shame the police were so heavy handed with the crowd.
Graham, UK

Hunting with dogs should be banned - no doubt about it.
Niel, Jersey

As a Poultry keeper I loose Hens regularly to the Fox and blame my self for not shutting the Pen in Time. I also lost Turkey's to uncontrolled dogs, but I do not however, hunt dog's. Where is the Justification for hunting foxes? Do we still hunt deer with Deerhound, same thing, different animal!
T, West Sussex

While I don't personally agree with hunting I don't think it should be banned
Nick, UK
While I don't personally agree with hunting I don't think it should be banned, the way things are being "banned" because the govt thinks it is not good for us for one reason or another at this rate there will be nothing left for anyone to do. Most people are intelligent enough to be able to make there own minds up and should be left to live their lives as they want and not be continually dictated to by the govt.
Nick, UK

What next? Fishing that could be construed as equally cruel? Rugby which could be considered extremely dangerous? What a damn stupid waste of taxpayers' money even debating this bill. And what an absolute disgrace when there are many far more important issues facing us as a country, and as individuals, and it does not surprise me that the labour 'government' is spinning over this one. Our so-called representatives have a lot to answer for now!
Rory Macgregor, Scotland

Legislating against nature does not work
Theresa Hodges
As King Canute demonstrated, legislating against nature does not work. This ban won't work - it won't save one fox, it will unleash a wave of intolerance across our country, it will create criminals and it will negatively impact fox welfare by removing hunt infrastructure.
Theresa Hodges

Why is society debating this issue? Hunting is cruel. If the foxes are vermin and/or harmful in any other way we must humanely deal with them. Debating this cruel issue is legitimising the cruelty. Stop hunting now, not in 2 years
John Barclay, England

The hunt ban typifies the authoritarian but petty nature of this sanctimonious government.
David, England

For everything there is Ying and there is Yang, the key is trying to find the balance between the two. Hunting is neither good nor bad, we are destined to argue, but must be mature enough to compromise. I really don't think that hunting should be banned.
Nicky, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

The argument about jobs and loss of a way of life rings very hollow
Swithun, London, UK
Both sides of this argument seem very petty. Yes - hunting is cruel. But so are many things that we do every day that are never going to be banned and should not be. We have far too much "banning". Let them get on with it if that's what they want. But the argument about jobs and loss of a way of life rings very hollow when it comes from the hunting/farming community. I don't remember hearing quite so loudly from them when the miners, dockers, steel workers and many others were being laid off in their hundreds of thousands.
Swithun, London, UK

Once they have banned hunting, it will be fishing next.
Mike, UK

The Hunting Bill is unjust and unfair and oppresses a minority. The Government has ignored the evidence of the Burns Report that hunting is not cruel and has decided to take this action based on prejudice and spite rather than rational decision making. Thousands of people will be put out of work and Mr Blair needs to understand that we will not let him do it. A ban is not an option that we will tolerate. Hunting will continue.
Catherine Fleming, UK

Democracy.... most people want a ban, so it should be banned. It was, in fact, part of the Labour Party's manifesto, so by voting Labour in, people were voting for a ban.
Nathan Hobbs, Luton, UK

You can tell the pro-hunting lobby are getting desperate when they claim it will be against democracy to ban hunting. The democratic chamber of parliament has voted time and again for a ban. Let's see the will of parliament upheld for once!
James Mack, London

This is a barbaric sport that should be banned
Rob, UK
I do wish that certain people would stop tarring rural people with the same brush. I grew up in the rural areas of Norfolk, and my whole family think this is a barbaric sport that should be banned.
Rob, UK

Hunting is part of our heritage. It is not cruel, it is an effective way of keeping down vermin. When the 'urban fox' starts to become aggressive to people's pets and children, perhaps they'll think again about the 'pretty, furry fox'!
Janet, UK

No way should hunting be banned. Foxes although beautiful creatures are vermin. Hunting is no more cruel than fishing and look how many fish are killed every year. I have hunted with hounds and frankly the number of foxes actually caught is very few. How can anyone justify killing 20,000+ hounds for the sake of a few hundred foxes?
Teresa Ashby, England

Yes, I live in the countryside and not only is hunting cruel and disgraceful the hunters dangerously block roads with horse boxes, 4X4's and of course horses and prevent me from getting to my house. Their hounds run all over the place - some of which have tried to attack my own dog whilst out on walks on more than one occasion!
Luke, Leicester, UK

Hunting is an inefficient and barbaric way of dealing with a pest problem. Also, if we refrained from legislating against activities simply because they have a 'history' attached to them, then no progress in human or animal rights law would ever be made. This argument simply has no merit at all.
Paul Gareth Hanlon, UK

The defence by pro-hunters that the dogs will have to be put-down should a ban go ahead is a fallacy. The dogs are put-down anyway after reaching their 2nd birthdays. There's no certainly retirement home for the hounds. It's another aspect of this cruel, uncivilised blood sport and that's the crucial part of the argument in that it is just an unnecessary sport.
Steve Crosher, Devon

Keep hunting!
Craig, England
Born in the city and now living in the countryside. My partner was born on a farm. Keep hunting! It is good for the local community, one of the few English things left and helps the farmers.
Craig, England

No, no, no - I know what I am talking about because I was hunt saboteur for a number of years when I was a student, sabotaging fox hunts in the south of England. If foxes are not controlled by hunting they will be shot (perhaps maimed and die in great agony later) or foxes may be poisoned which will affect other wildlife. Let hunting continue as it plays an important role in controlling foxes and a role in the rural economy. If the hunting ban goes through it will be fishing next!
Steve, UK

Hands off the countryside. We have hunted since our conception either foxes, dinosaurs, people. Why stop now?
John Grant, UK

I grew up with hunting and saw how wrong and unnecessary it was. I would urge everyone to vote for the ban. If fox hunting is necessary then why do the hunt followers breed foxes to release for a hunt?
Julie Curl, England

What next for the anti-lobby - a ban on halal meat production?
Peter, Leicester, UK

Our natural instinct is to hunt. In a society that is becoming ever more controlled, legislation at this level really scares me...Beatrix Potter has a lot to answer for!
Steve, UK

How is the fox population going to be controlled should this ban be implemented?
Harry, England
Let us not forget that foxes are vermin, how is the fox population going to be controlled should this ban be implemented? Farmers rely on hunts in order to protect the livestock and the surrounding country from this pest. A farmer does not have time to shoot the foxes. I am currently living in London and find myself increasingly having to re-bag my rubbish, thanks to urban foxes and I'm fed up with it. Tony and your pathetic government get on with something like the NHS or even the disastrous economy without wasting my tax money on such a minor issue.
Harry, England

I'm fed up with hunt supporters assuming that all 'antis' are city dwellers who know nothing about country life. I grew up in the countryside, among many people who choose to hunt, and I have still always believed that it is cruel and wrong. I fail to understand how hunt supporters can claim that shooting a fox in a controlled manner is more cruel than chasing it for miles to the point of exhaustion before setting a pack of dogs on it. Yes, fox numbers need to be controlled, but blood sports masquerading as culling methods are not the way to do it.
Allie, England

Allie, England: states that she is from the country and agrees with the ban, she says that foxes can be "shot in a controlled manner" unfortunately Allie foxes don't stand against the wall with their hands up waiting for a clean shot, shooting usually causes foxes injury that causes them to die from gangrene days later, hunting is the best method of managing fox populations
Adrian, England

Unpopular as it is to say, the thing being killed is only a fox. We live in an age where our clothing comes from sweat shops and we are quite happy to see humans exploited for our own gain. To see so much time and energy being spent over the welfare of foxes is not just pathetic, but causes me to worry about where we place our values.
Tom, UK

The hounds are probably more intelligent than their so-called hunt masters!!
Chris Mayers, UK
Hunting foxes, or any other animal with hounds is a cruel and barbaric happening (it is NOT sport). In New Zealand, where foxes have never been introduced, there is still a very active hunting fraternity, who use 'drag' hunting for their sport, which is very successful. To say the hounds would need to be destroyed is absolute rubbish. Of course they can be retrained to follow a scent drag, the hounds are probably more intelligent than their so-called hunt masters!!
Chris Mayers, UK

This is all about class warfare and very little to do with animal welfare. If people cared that much about animal welfare, then there would be proper pressure on the meat industry to reform. This is an urban majority persecuting a minority and is a poor reflection on our democratic institutions! Shame on you Messrs Blair and Banks!!!
Richard, England

The bottom line is that hunting is a cruel, merciless and unequivocally brutal activity: people who obtain pleasure through ruthless killing of wholly innocent animals are in my view totally depraved. Hunting in any shape or form can have no place in a civilized society.
Sam Ambrose, England

The hypocrisy of this bill is abhorrent - it has nothing to do with animal welfare, and everything to do with class spite. There may be more support for a ban if it included fishing and shooting, and indeed, the keeping of caged animals - but of course, these are not considered to be the exclusive domain of the rich.
Fiona Delevingne, England

Far greater cruelty happens every day in abattoirs but you don't see people complaining
James, UK
I've never hunted with dogs and I doubt that I ever will, but I don't have the immature attitude of wanting to ban something just because I don't like the look of it. They target this simply to annoy the 'toffs'. A ban will destroy the livelihoods of people who rely on hunting. Also, far greater cruelty happens every day in abattoirs but you don't see people complaining as long as they get their cheap meat!
James, UK

Yes, I'm fed up with the pathetic excuse for this distasteful sport that they hunt for the benefit of the farmers. Let there be no mistake about this, they hunt for sport. This ban is long overdue.
T Anderson, UK

No. I wish we had more legislators who understood that a hunting ban will not create a picture book world where all the animals are nice to each other and live happily ever after. Foxes are carnivorous predators and need to be controlled, and hunting is no worse than any other way of killing them.
Amanda, UK

As a townie, now living in the country, I feel it is not for me to say whether or not hunting should be banned. When you see the large numbers of people following the hunt, how can I impose my dislike of hunting on them? I just stay away and let them get on with their pursuit. The government should not bother with this as there is far too much else they should be doing. And once hunting is banned, what next - fishing?
Peter, UK

Why don't the hunts set up professional drag hunts instead? We would still have the spectacle of hounds and horses galloping across the countryside, they would still make their living , livery stables would remain open etc. It is more exciting when well run, and no fox is ripped to shreds.
Jules, England

If the law is pushed through there will be a lot of livelihoods ruined
Kieron Williams, UK
Just a small point about the anti's insistence that hunts should convert to drag hunting. You cannot retrain a fox hound, hundreds of years of breeding and training have produced a hound which is only really interested in one thing. They do not make good pets and would follow a drag trail only if it was a dead fox you were dragging and would certainly revert to their normal behaviour if they came across a fresh scent which you don't have to go far to find! There is no easy compromise here and if the law is pushed through there will be a lot of livelihoods ruined.
Kieron Williams, UK

No and if this slips through without House of Lords approval it will make a mockery of our democracy. There are far more important issues that this government should be worrying about - law and order and immigration.
Tony Hamnett, England

This endless debate about hunting is becoming like talking about the weather - something you do when there's nothing else to talk about.
Douglas, Watford, UK

A waste of Parliament's time
Jeremy Hartley, UK
No. This is a waste of Parliament's time and an attempt by the urban majority to dictate to the rural community. It is driven by spite, ignorance and a misguided desire to help animals.
Jeremy Hartley, UK

After seeing the result of a fox visit to a hen coop I do not care how they are got rid of.
Hugh Cross, England

How about letting these people carry on hunting, only without their dogs and horses? Let's see them pelting across a muddy field hot on the trail of Mr Fox. I think that would be a compromise most anti-hunt supporters would gladly sign up to, and, bonus we'd create an entertaining new spectator sport.
Neal, Toronto, Canada

No. Although I'm no great fan of hunting, one glimpse of John Prescott's contorted face at the 2001 Labour conference was enough to convince me that this was nothing to do with concern for the fox. It's about Labour's class war - their visceral hatred of 'toffs on horses'. It's about time these ex student-union agitators grew up.
Andy, Manchester, England

Why ban it? Dogs love to hunt, it's instinctive behaviour for them. Many people enjoy hunting as well, and it's a good partnership, one that goes back thousands of years.
Todd, USA

Truly barbaric. Would you hunt a dog in this way? Then why hunt a fox? It should have been banned years ago.
Honest John, UK

The most inefficient way of catching and controlling foxes
Peter Grey, UK
It's the most inefficient way of catching and controlling foxes, it's a blood sport, the word to look out for is sport! If the Countryside Alliance had been honest from the start and admitted they enjoyed it rather than going down the road that the countryside will fall apart without fox hinting, they may have had more sympathy.
Peter Grey, UK

Hunting with dogs amounts to cruelty to animals, so yes it should be banned. People can only do what they like so long as their actions don't cause harm to others or animals.

Hunting terrifies rural communities, destroys the countryside and kills hundreds of thousands of animals, including wild, domestic and working animals, every year. There is no debate to have. It is time to end this outrage
Kevin Leftman, UK

In one word no. What a waste of time and taxpayers' money. There are a plethora of issues that Whitehall should be spending their time on.
Clive, Woking, UK

This ban should NOT be implemented as hunting is not only a traditional country sport and a very effective way of controlling foxes but provides employment as well. It is high time we told these "anti's" to mind their own business and stay out of thing they do not understand.
Bob Matthews, Scotland

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