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Saturday, November 05, 2005 

Hunting carries on the same as before.

The first official day of the new season of fox hunting, and the BBC reports that not a single registered hunt has disbanded since the ban was brought in on hunting foxes with hounds. It's just a slight contrast to the claims of those in the countryside who said that thousands of jobs would be lost, that dogs would be put down and that a way of life centuries old would disappear.

The bill though was and continues to be a proverbial dog's dinner. The law states that two dogs can be used to sniff out a scent and to flush out a fox, but the fox must then be shot, rather than ripped apart by a pack of hounds as before. I'm sure the fox appreciates the difference. In another twist, the law does not ban hunting with predatory birds, which has resulted in nearly half purchasing golden eagles, eagle owls or similar birds and using them to attack the fox instead. Not a single case has been brought against a huntsman in the public domain, and the League against Cruel Sports is now pursuing a private prosecution against a huntsman in Devon, fed up with the police not taking action that the law has been broken, despite video and witness evidence.

The law was criticised by the likes of the Daily Torygraph as been part of a class war against the gentry in the countryside. It wasn't, but it was a nice smear and I personally would be happy in starting a class war against the likes of those who find terrifying wild animals before slaughtering them a nice Saturday afternoon hobby. The government had banning fox hunting as a manifesto pledge, something which Tony Blair must curse. He must be equally pleased that the law is so useless and loopholes are being found and abused with glee. If Labour doesn't want to become known as passing a law even dafter and less thought out than the Dangerous Dogs Act, it will amend the act and make sure that such barbarity is completely outlawed. It should not be a part of 21st century Britain, tradition or not.

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