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A Veterinary Opinion

A Veterinary Opinion on Hunting with Hounds was written by Dr.L.H.Thomas and Professor W.R.Allen.

The Opinion sets out the welfare case for the various methods of culling the four quarry species.

"Hunting with hounds is the natural and most humane way of controlling the population of all four quarry species"
- Supported by over 540 members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Key PointsPicture of Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)

  • Wild animals are used to hunting or being hunted. They are adapted to it by evolution. What might be a devastating experience for man or even a domestic animal is part of normal daily life in the wild.
  • Wild animals almost certainly lack the complex brain and mental abilities necessary to perceive the human concepts of fear and death.
  • For the major part of any hunt the quarry is under no abnormal stress.
  • Stress in the short final stage of a hunt is equivalent to no more than that of strenuous exercise.
  • The kill, if it occurs, is almost instantaneous and above all certain
  • Hunting leaves no wounded or damaged survivors
  • Quarry that evade hounds rapidly return to normal activity.
  • Hunting performs a vital search and dispatch function for the weak and sick

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The Quarry Species