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Tally Ho - Oh Non ! Not in France, what a Quirck...

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Neither have I, the "toffs"want to come and hunt over here it would just be a different sort of "toff" to the ones that are here already.

    The bullets are like you say but are not fully automatic so one two at most shots at the fox on the run so speak more likely to be a wide spread cartridge from a smooth bore shotgun!!

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Mr Quirk said that conditions and attitudes to hunting are “like England 50 years ago”, adding: “The law says if your hounds are hunting vermin, you can go virtually through someone’s front door and out the back.”

This is just the attitude we do not want here, no respect for anybody or anything else...

The French are tolerant, to a certain point, we shall see...


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Couple of things:


1) As far as I am aware, unless the law has been recently changed, cock fighting is still legally practised in parts of France, particularly around Calais. There is even a specific breed of bird for this - the "Combatant du Nord." The fights are not widely advertised;


2) As one who raises poultry (primarily for the table and for eggs, not for ornamentation), the fox I regard as a natural enemy whom I will slaughter without ruth. That said, I regard hunting foxes with dogs as inhumane, probably perverse, certainly inflicting of unnecessary cruelty, but, frankly, not an issue deserving of the huge amount of protest it receives.


Fox hunting is so frequently presented as being an issue of animal welfare, ne plus ultra.  If those who contend so strongly that this is the case would vouchsafe to protest about the abominable cruelty meted out to the tens of millions of heads of livestock reared in battery conditions (and to be fair, some do, though by no means all), then they would be advancing the general welfare of beasts by a far greater extent.

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Please do fall into the old trap Jond - I do not support fox hunting one little bit, neither do I support any animals being raised in 'battery' conditions and do my best to buy food accordingly.

If you raise chickens etc then it up to you to protect them against predators.

Frankly I have come to believe that fox hunting really doesn't have much to do with the fox as a pest in the countryside but has everything to do with a pastime seen as 'sport' by some.

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I remember a long time ago when this whole debate was started, around the time that the Labour party came to power, not sure about the exact procedure, but newly elected MPs are allowed to ask a question in Parliment and its up to the new PM to choose which was persued. One MP wanting to make a name for himself raised the question of Fox hunting and Tony, probably much to his regret, decided to go with it.

That was the best part of ten years ago.

What I would like to point out is that in that time almost as much time has been spent producing a law that is completely uworkable (check out the figures for the amount of real live foxes killed on 'drag hunts' on the first day of the ban) as was spent debating going to war with Iraq.

Should we really be worried about a few animals when we are sending soldiers out to fight and die in a complelety unnessesary war?


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Apart from being factually incorrect the only thing that one has to do with the other is the way that UK Parliament works.

As I met my husband campaigning for the abolishment of fox hunting over 30 years ago I can tell you that it wasn't simply a case of some MP deciding to go for it........it took years and years of campaigning to get the abolishment of fox hunting into the Labour party manifesto - once it was there when the Labour party was elected they were duty bound to give the proposal parliamentary time.

Iraq is a different argument altogether and has little to do Brits hunting in France.
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[quote]Please do fall into the old trap Jond - I do not support fox hunting one little bit, neither do I support any animals being raised in 'battery' conditions and do my best to buy food accordingly. If yo...[/quote]

The trap, I would suggest, is that the protest to ban hunting became (in the UK) and can become (elsewhere) as much of a "sport" as the vile activity it seeks to abolish.

It's all very well buying free range eggs and / or "label rouge" meat, but these actions, well meaning as they are, do little to eleviate the misery of poorly raised livestock - the sale of fresh eggs, for example, represents only a fraction of production, the vast bulk of battery farmed junk going to food manufacturing. How many people base their choice of biscuit based on whether or not it contains egg or not?

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[quote]Jond, this thread is about English foxhunters coming to France. It would be marvellous if battery farming did not exist (there is a "rabbit factory" by us) and could be the subject of a new thread. ...[/quote]

Perhaps it would be a topic deserving of a seperate thread, though I doubt it would engender much interest: humans have a remarkable ability to ignore issues that could inconvienence them were they to confront them.

Campaigns to erradicate battery farming, I fear, will always be consigned to the "nice to have , but troublesome to attain" file.
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The only way to stop factory farming is for people to stop eating the utter crap that they turn out. As for Foxhunting I think it's horses for courses let people decide for themselves. I think the riding bit is super but the killing bit a little bit off, but I would never dream of telling someone to stop.


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A TV programme recently featured a self-styled "river-rat", a man who lived on the Mississippi and was self-sufficient. He killed local wildlife for food but showed tremendous respect for it - far more than any factory farm shows its "victims", whatever the regulations supposedly designed to avoid cruelty.

He had no time for people who killed simply for "sport". I suspect he would more willingly have shot a fox-hunter than a fox (in the interests of protecting wildlife, of course, rather than as a sport! But it conjures up a tempting image....)

Pretty well sums up my view of things.

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Have just received this from the RAC, quick translation below :


si vous ne pouvez pas lire ce message, cliquez sur le lien http://www.antichasse.com/mailings_new/anglais_encore.htm


Rassemblement  Anti  Chasse

 Non aux Anglais qui croient venir chasser à courre en France


La BBC, en contact avec le RAC,  est venue filmer dans le Sud Ouest.

Eric un conseiller municipal de Pau a bien su parler de ce qu'il combat; le maire de Pau  a dit que les millers de lettres reçues l'avait fait changer d'avis : en aucun cas les anglais ne viendront chasser sur ce territoire.

(Pour ces milliers de lettres merci à vous tous et toutes qui avez réagi à notre demande du 27 février 2005  (mailing intitulé Si c'est ça l'Europe !)

Une adhérente du RAC a enquêté un peu avant la venue de la BBC dans le village de Lascazeres (65) les habitants n'étaient pas au courant, mais se sont déclarés résolument contre ce type de chasse. Les chasseurs ( normaux !) eux-mêmes résolument contre, les agriculteurs également.

L'anglais Jeffrey Quirk qui veut inviter des équipages anglais a  un château à Sombrun ; ses buts sont économiques et politiques, il pensait pouvoir introduire en France de nombreux équipages anglais,   et  il déteste Tony Blair qui a fait abolir la chasse à courre !

Le reportage sera diffusé dimanche sur BBC 1, dans l'émission "Country File". La BBC sera-t-elle objective, impartiale  ?  Avis à ceux d'entre vous qui ont  les chaînes pour pouvoir voir  mais ce sera en anglais.

 Prochainement nous aurons une copie , une adhérente du RAC  traduira et on le mettra sur le site !

Continuez à écrire aimablement mais fermement aux députés, [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ;

et au maire de Lascazeres Monsieur Bourbon  [email protected]

n'hésitez pas à dire à Jeffrey Quirk qu'on ne le laissera pas faire où qu'il ait envie de tenter ces chasses cruelles au renard.[email protected]

Vous pouvez adhérer au RAC (Rassemblement Anti Chasse) : c’est cinq  euros par an + une enveloppe timbrée avec votre adresse : RAC  Boîte Postale 20   25270 LEVIER . Vous recevrez plusieurs petits Bulletins informatifs.  (indiquez votre adresse Internet si vous en avez)


Non, to the English who think they can come and foxhunt in France

The BBC, in contact with the RAC, has been to film in the south-west of France. Eric, a Pau conseiller municipal, well expressed the fight; the maire of Pau said the thousands of letters received had made him change his mind : Under no circumstances the English will come and hunt on this territory. (Thanks to all for the thousands of letters following our mailing of 27th February 2005 «If that’s what is Europe ! »).

Shortly before the arrival of the BBC an RAC member made investigations and in the village of Lascazères (65) noone knew about it, but declared they were firmly against this type of hunting. The hunters (normal ones!) are firmly against, as well as the farmers.

The Englishman, Jeffrey Quirk, who wants to invite English hunts to a château at Sombrun…

The report will be shown on Sunday on BBC 1 in the programme « Country File ».

We shall be translating it and putting a copy on our site.

Please continue to write, politely but firmly, to the députés :

[email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ; [email protected] ;

And to the Maire of Lascazères, Monsieur Bourbon : [email protected]

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I know someone (a 12 year old girl) who had bleach sprayed in her horses face by one of our local hunt sabotuers.

She wasn't even out with (and doesn't ride with) the hunt. Fortunately the horse suffered no lasting injury but I think we can rule out any kind of concern for animals welfare in their motives.

I am interested to know what the crusties are going to do now fox hunting is banned in the UK? Having said that I was in Bath Saturday and the Bath Hunt Sab society are still rattling their collecting tins so presumably they're up to something. I know a guy who used to be a sab in his student days and he recalls it as being a nice day out in the country so they'll want something to replace it. Of course the LACS used to pay him and provide transport in an old transit. Perhaps they'll fly a few sabs down to Pau. I can't imagine a balaclava wearing unemployed crusty will mind too much whether its fox hunters or (in his eyes) "privileged" french second homers that he's whacking.

..and in case anyone is wondering, you can eat fox. Its not very nice, but then neither are brussels sprouts...

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I think that it would be fair to say that there is a big difference between writing letters and taking physical action. As I understand it from "watching" this thread so far, written "protest" is what is being promoted.

My personal point of view is that making hunting with dogs illegal in the UK was a mistake, persuading land owners to disallow hunting on their land by reasoned argument would seem to me the proper approach. I have been appalled at some of the actions that have been carried out by animal liberationists etc. many of these actions have in themselves caused great harm to animals and to wildlife. I have been equally appalled at some of the actions that I have witnessed from the hunting fraternity.

Any comments on the programme? I don't have a TV.

Best, Chris


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>>My personal point of view is that making hunting with dogs illegal in the UK was a mistake, persuading land owners to disallow hunting on their land by reasoned argument would seem to me the proper approach. <<<

The problem is Chris, that foxes cannot read, so they happily run onto the land where hunts are 'not allowed' (very wisely)and the hounds follow in hot pursuit - in fact it is extremely difficult to halt a pack of hounds in full cry so all the non hunting land in the world would not help. Frankly I don't think the pro's are very keen on reasoned argument either, otherwise hunting would have been banned a much longer time ago!

To the previous poster - you may have known someone who belonged to both hunt saboteurs and LACS but I doubt whether the LACS knowingly paid for a saboteurs activities - they may have paid expenses as an observer.... please be careful what you insinuate.

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[quote]I know someone (a 12 year old girl) who had bleach sprayed in her horses face by one of our local hunt sabotuers. She wasn't even out with (and doesn't ride with) the hunt. Fortunately the horse suff...[/quote]

If I were a hunt sabotuer I don't think I would come to Aude. Nine people dead this year so far, number injured zero. The difference is they have big guns here in France and if you go out in the country side on a hunt day you have to be extremely careful.

I must say that from the actions I have seen of both the anti hunt and LACS I think they show the same level of intilegence as the hunters themselves.  Even (some) MP's are just as bad and it all comes down to the have and have nots and political bigotry. I refer to Tony Banks comment which I don't remember exactly but it went along the lines of "That will teach them for picking on the miners", them being Tories. I wonder how he explained this to the rank and file labour supports up north who love a bit of hare coursing and rabbit hunting. They don't all wear flat caps and keep ferrets.

So anyway back to this guy in Pau. I thought his attitude was like a spoiled child. When they said the hunt could not go ahead because the mayor had said no his reply was "Well we respect the mayors decision but it won't stop us we will go elsewhere". Not so far as to stop people being charged loads of money to stay in his Chateau I suspect.

His attitude, to me anyway, explained the reason why so many people are against hunting. It's the shear arrogance of these people in they way they express themselves. Why don't they just be honest and tell people the truth. It's a few beers down the pub, a gallop across some fields, if lucky they get to chase a fox, then back to pub for more drinks. Its a social event more than anything. All this stuff about keeping the fox population down, doing farmers a favour etc, etc. Do they really think we are that stupid?

I did feel rather sorry for the English couple who had spent a fortune renovating their stables to accommodate the horses that would be staying there from the UK. I guess it's all a waste of time now. But then perhaps they should not have just taken this guys word that it was going to happen.

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You saw the programme then Quillan?  Did anyone else see it, we don't get English television...

I agree it is the attitude and arrogance of these people which I find distasteful, and as for those "poor people" who had spent a fortune renovating their stables... perhaps they should have waited until they had the permission to hunt first.  They could always do riding holidays in the peaceful and beautiful countryside, very enjoyable to most.


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>>I must say that from the actions I have seen of both the anti hunt and LACS I think they show the same level of intilegence as the hunters themselves. <<<

The LACS have consistently campaigned to get hunting stopped through legislation, not violence, It's a long time sinceI was a member but we had all sorts of people from farmers and smallholders to university lecturers as members in our local group. I'd be amazed if people like the late Lord Soper or Richard Ryder would ever support an organisation that encouraged violence.
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[quote]>>I must say that from the actions I have seen of both the anti hunt and LACS I think they show the same level of intilegence as the hunters themselves. <<

OK I accept that it's possible that LAC's are nice people and don't subscribe to violence but in the rest of the world, and it's sad to have to say this, most people who watch TV can't tell the difference. So I am afraid that like many others, including some other posters here, I see them as all the same. Being a peer of the realm does not make you intelligent, ask Tony Banks. Mind you being a MP in East London doesn't either .

To be honest, having a cousin who is head of micro biology at a university, being a professor does not always mean the person is intelligent. He (my cousin) may be clever at what he teaches but as far as the rest of his life is concerned he is socially inept and an absolute idiot and even he recognises that fact.

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Richard Ryder is very well respected in his field (excuse the pun) and gives a balanced view. This is from the Open Democracy site (couldn't make the link work)


I can understand how angry hunting people must feel at a decision by Britain’s House of Commons on 16 November 2004 which makes it more likely that fox-hunting with dogs in England and Wales will be banned. If I had got into the habit of hunting, enjoyed it and had convinced myself that it is morally right, then I too would feel outraged at this apparent interference in my pastimes by the “nanny state”. I hate the nanny state!

But the snag is that hunting is not morally right.

John Stuart Mill addressed this issue 150 years ago. His “harm principle” is one of the underlying principles of modern western government. Basically, Mill said that we should have the freedom to do anything provided it does not harm or hurt others. And Mill, like Jeremy Bentham before him, went out of his way to emphasise that the definition of “others” included animals. Indeed, Mill drew the parallel with children. Animals and children, he said, are in the same moral position. They may be weaker than us but they are both capable of suffering pain and fear. We should not hurt them. Furthermore, said Mill, governments not only can intervene to stop minorities inflicting suffering upon animals and children, they actually have a moral duty to do so.

So this is the problem with hunting: it causes suffering to animals just for sport. That cannot be morally right. Jim Barrington mounts what might have been, in another context, a persuasive argument for a compromise. But one cannot have a “middle way” on animal abuse. I’m afraid that no compromise on cruelty is possible.

What is so sad about the current hunting debate in Britain is the mythology on both sides. Some anti-hunters are convinced that hunting is only a toffs’ sport but the evidence is to the contrary. Indeed, until as late as the 1950s, most of the aristocracy and gentry actually looked down upon hunting as a nouveau riche activity (I can remember this very well – the overwhelming majority of the established gentry did not hunt). In the 18th century it was regarded – as can be seen in Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones – as an uncouth barbarism indulged in only by a few country ruffians; the exact opposite of the country-house enlightenment of the period.

The trouble is that fox-hunting has had a lot of excellent spin-doctors from the days of Robert Smith Surtees and the Druid until today. They have rewritten history and have now convinced not only themselves but even the gentry itself that fox-hunting is an ancient and genteel pastime. It is not. Some other sports (equally cruel) are another matter.

Sadly, as a historian and social scientist and as one who has lived in the English countryside for over fifty years, I know very well that one of the strongest motives for fox-hunting is this romantic view of it as a traditional aristocratic sport. I do not say it is always snobbery. I say it is a romantic view. And I am a great romantic myself.

More solid aspects of the mythology include the mistaken view, held on both sides, that foxes are pests or vermin. These words, like the word “weed” when applied to plants, indicate only that the animals or plants concerned tend to do things that we find inconvenient. Certainly, in the days when everyone had poultry and geese wandering around their yards, it was upsetting to see the foxes helping themselves. But today this is no longer the case, or should not be. Poultry, even free range, are nowadays properly fenced in.

Indeed, when I was working for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw) I commissioned some of the best scientists at Oxford to research into this. They found that foxes eat a huge number of rabbits. This was calculated to save British arable farmers around £100 million each year! Yet we still hear both sides saying: “of course, foxes have to be controlled somehow.” What nonsense! Foxes are a tremendous agricultural asset.

The mythology is compounded by the use of questionable statistics. A certain Countryside Alliance banner quotes 59% approving of hunting while RSPCA and many other polls indicate 70% or even nearly 80% disapproving. They cannot all be right!

It is often claimed that the anti-hunting campaign is “townies” versus the countryside. Again, the scientific research does not bear this out. Many of the people who hunt are, basically, urban people who are pursuing the traditional English ideal of rurality, and opposition to hunting is almost as strong in the countryside (where irritation caused by the hunts invading private property, roads, railways, or crops is quite high) as in the towns.

Most sad of all is the Countryside Alliance’s failure to see the writing on the wall and to plan for the future by developing humane alternative sports such as drag-hunting and bloodhounds. Outrageously, some on the pro-hunt side have gone out of their way actually to suppress such sports, probably recognising this to be their Achilles’ heel.

Several experienced fox-hunters have told me over the years that their best days hunting have been after a drag. An intelligent human runner can be just as “cunning” as a fox in laying a difficult trail if that is what is wanted. On the other hand, crops, motorways, livestock, pets and people’s back gardens can be avoided. Farmers and landowners could charge for it.

More than this, television people tell me that such a sport could have tremendous televisual appeal – the pink coats, the fine landscapes and the horses. It could be developed into a valuable countryside enterprise providing far more jobs than are currently supported by fox-hunting. This is the way forward for hunting in the modern world. Such alternative sports are the realmiddle way”!

I myself was a member of the Windsor Forest Draghounds years ago. I have to say that I derived a great deal of pleasure from it. Bloodhounds have such good noses they can follow a runner’s trail without the use of a drag. They not only look good; they sound even better!


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