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The role of hunting in wildlife management
Hunting uniquely reproduces the natural selection process whereby weak, sick and injured animals are discovered and quickly dispatched in direct relation to their debility, thereby promoting the health and vigour of the species. Hunting leaves no wounded or damaged survivors
No other method of culling performs this vital search and dispatch function and now that hunting is banned, the welfare situation for all hunted species is worsening since wildlife managers have regrettably been forced to rely more heavily on the less humane and less selective methods of control namely snaring and shooting
Death in the wild, in the absence of natural predators and without hunting, involves pain, sepsis, gangrene, starvation, hypothermia, for days, even weeks before death finally supervenes.
A balanced wild life population will not result from a 'hands off' approach. In the man-made countryside, control of a dominant species is best achieved by a combination of legal methods undertaken by farmers, gamekeepers, landowners, naturalists and huntsmen, with their divergent interests using the appropriate methods of control for their particular circumstances.
Man has a responsibility to manage the countryside he has created and the wildlife populations therein. Laissez faire will not do!
Hunting with hounds is the natural and most humane method of controlling all 4 quarry species in the countryside:
Natural because the wild animal is hunted in the environment that it knows and natural also because hunting does not use any alien technology (shooting, snaring etc.) for which the wild animal has no natural defence.
Humane because it is certain - there is no wounding with hunting the animal is either killed almost instantaneously or it escapes unharmed and humane also because hunting provides a unique search and dispatch function for wounded and diseased animals.
- Submission to the Law Commission's review of wildlife legislation, November (2012)
- Hunting wildlife management and the moral issue (revised December 2011)
- Life in the Wild (2011)
- Answers to misconceptions about hunting (2010)
- The Natural Chase by Katie Colvile (2008)
- The use, misuse and abuse of science in support of the Hunting Act 2004 (2007) and its References
- The Burns report - Deficiencies and flaws on the question of animal welfare, August 2007
- The welfare case for hunting; article published in Country Illustrated (2005)
- Animal welfare and the Hunting Act - an assessment, September 2005.
- Hunting is husbandry; letter published in Daily Telegraph, September 30, 2004
- A veterinary opinion on hunting with hounds (2002)
- The Burns report - Bateson then and now. Professor Bateson comprehensively reviews his 1997 conclusions, Addison (2000)
- Hunting as a humane method of control; letter published in The Times, December 20, 2000